Pastor Mark Burns, who frequently introduces Trump at campaign rallies, claimed on his church website to have a bachelor’s degree from North Greenville University and to have served six years in the Army Reserve.
 
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CNN anchor Victor Blackwell asked Burns about these claims, noting that the Army said it had no record of him — although he was in the South Carolina National Guard — and the university said he only attended for one semester.
 
Burns admitted to Blackwell he did not receive his degree. Pressed further, Burns insisted he thought the interview was off the record. Blackwell said he never agreed to that.
 
"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 responded. “These are claims that were made on your website that was live while you were speaking at the Republican National Convention.”
 
At another point in the interview, Burns said his church’s website had been “manipulated or either hacked or added.” 
 
The website host Wix said it saw no evidence of a hack, according to CNN.
 
Burns eventually stormed off, ending the interview early.
 
Burns released a statement Friday night, hours before CNN was set to air the interview, admitting falsehoods in his bio and accusing the media of targeting him because he supports Trump for president.
 
“As a young man starting my church in Greenville, South Carolina, I overstated several details of my biography because I was worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a new pastor,” he wrote. "This was wrong. I wasn’t truthful then and I have to take full responsibility for my actions.
 
“Since that time I should have taken steps to correct any misrepresentations of my background. We all make mistakes, and I hope that the measure of my character and the quality of my works speak for what kind of person I am.”
 
Burns did not specify which details of his personal biography he had exaggerated.
 
But he said he was a target of a media “attack” because he’s a black Trump supporter.
 
"For too long, African-American votes have been taken for granted by Democratic politicians, and enough is enough,” Burns wrote.
 
“It’s a shame that the political insiders and the media choose to attack me because I’m not going to stay silent about Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Kanye West 'not denying' his campaign seeks to damage Biden MORE’s pandering to our community. Instead, I’m going to tell people that there’s another option – an option that represents a positive vision that will unify our country. That’s why I have and will continue to tirelessly support Mr. Trump.”
 
On Monday Burns brought controversy when he shared an image of Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, in blackface.
 
“Black Americans, THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTES and let me use you again…see you again in 4 years,” he wrote, mocking Clinton.
 
Burns defended the controversial tweet, saying he regretted his delivery but not the message.
 
“This tweet is a frustration that I have as a black man here in America, and how I see African-Americans in many cases suffering throughout the country,” he said on MSNBC.
 
“The picture is designed to draw attention to the very fact that Hillary Clinton does pander and her policies are not good for African-Americans. It’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.”
 
Trump last month began expanding his outreach to minority voters, asking African-Americans in particular “what do you have to lose” by supporting him.
 
Trump has also repeatedly accused Clinton of being a “bigot” who only helps minorities when it serves her political ambition.