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Donald Trump plans to stop in Flint; Mayor Weaver not impressed

Sep 13, 2016

Ever since the Flint water crisis broke open this past January, Flint has been no stranger to visitors.

Politicians, movie stars, musicians, and media from all over the world have come to see the city stricken by lead-tainted water.

Now it's Donald Trump's turn to visit Flint.

Aides have confirmed that the Republican presidential candidate will make a stop in the city before heading to an event in Canton, Ohio Wednesday night. Trump is expected to tour Flint's water treatment plant, which is largely an unused facility now that Flint is once again getting treated water from the city of Detroit.

During a campaign stop in Detroit on Sept. 3, Trump told The Detroit News the Flint water crisis would not have happened if he were president.

“I think it’s a horror show that it was allowed to happen and to be honest with you it should have never, ever been allowed to happen,” Trump said Saturday in an interview with The Detroit News. “That was really the problem.”

Trump did not say how, as president, he would have prevented the crisis.

Upon hearing the news that Trump will visit her city, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, issued a statement, saying "Flint is focused on fixing the problems caused by lead contamination of our drinking water, not photo ops."

Weaver is in Washington D.C. trying to secure federal funding to help the city tackle the ongoing crisis. She'll be out of town for Trump's visit.

Just yesterday federal officials said that while the city's drinking water quality is improving, residents will have to continue to use filters to treat the water until at least the end of the year, if not longer.

More from the statement issued by Mayor Weaver's office:

Mayor Weaver went on to point out that neither Donald Trump nor any staff members from the Trump campaign have ever reached out to her since the Flint water crisis was officially recognized as an emergency in December 2015, and he never let her know that he was coming to the city this week.  

The statement said workers at the Flint water treatment plant "cannot afford the disruption of a last-minute visit," indicating that the city might not entertain a visit from the Republican nominee for president.

But Chad Livengood of The Detroit News reports that Mayor Weaver's office might help Trump with his visit after all:

“They requested a tour, and we’re working to fulfill that,” said Kristin Moore, spokeswoman for Flint Mayor Karen Weaver ...

Rick Pluta will be in Flint covering Trump's visit. We'll bring you more then.