Donald Trump, who is normally critical of President Barack Obama, had nothing but praise for him when it came to the emotional eulogy the president gave at the funeral of pastor and State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine murdered at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church last month.
"I thought it was excellent, " Trump told "CNN Tonight" host Don Lemon
late Wednesday. "I'm not a fan of the president; I think he's hurt us economically. But I thought his speech was excellent
, and I loved when he started to sing."
Trump also praised the responses of the South Carolina church community and the family members of the victims for offering forgiveness for Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old accused in the shootings, but admitted he would not have reacted that way.
"Nothing good comes out of a horror show like that but if anything, the way the people reacted, who were so affected, the love that they had, it was incredible," Trump said. "It was actually an incredible moment, I've never seen anything like it."
But, he told Lemon, "I would have been angry and I would have really gone after, I would have wanted to rip this guy's heart out. And I watched the way these people reacted with the love and the faith and God and everything else, I thought it was one of the more beautiful things that I've seen in my life."
Trump told Lemon that improving the nation's race relations would be a high priority if he is elected president.
"We have so many places — whether it's Baltimore or Newark or Cleveland or so many places — where there is such tension," he said. "And one of the things you have to do is spirit. We have to get more spirit into the country. This country doesn't have spirit. And the other thing you have to do is you have to create jobs."
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