One of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s most visible defenders has admitted that he lied about his military experience and his college background after first stating that his church website had been hacked and someone else had posted the false information.
Pastor Mark Burns has been at the forefront of pushing the candidacy of Trump with black voters, only to create more controversy by first tweeting out a cartoon of Hillary Clinton in blackface before later lashing at cable TV host, asking about her “heritage” when she asked him about the cartoon.
Pressed by CNN host Victor Blackwell, Burns first admitted that he did not graduate from North Greenville University with a Bachelor of Science degree, before taking offense at the line of questioning and stating he thought the interview was for a profile and was off the record.
“I didn’t agree to that,” Blackwell said before again pressing Burns on his bio.
“This is not fair at all,” Burns replied. “I thought we were doing a profile and all of a sudden you’re here to try to destroy my character.”
“I’m not here to destroy your character,” Blackwell replied.
As part of their investigation, CNN stated that Burns only attended the university for one semester and that his claim that he served in six years in the Army Reserve was also false, with the pastor only serving a short stint in the National Guard.
Burns later released a statement on saying he had “overstated some details” in his biography because, as a young man, he wanted to be taken seriously as a pastor starting up his new church in Greenville, South Carolina.
In his statement, Burns also said he was under attack because “I am a black man supporting Donald Trump for president.”
Watch the CNN interview below via YouTube:
Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines
Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.
"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.
More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.
At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.
Chief Justice John Roberts issues New Year’s Eve warning to stand up for democracy
"In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public's need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital," he wrote. "We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability."
Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why
According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.
As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."