Sen. Scott Not Expecting an 'Epiphany' from Trump on Race After New Charlottesville Comments
WASHINGTON -- Stressing that the violence of 300 years of racism in America is not equivalent to the anarchist Antifa protesters, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said he wasn't confident President Trump would have an "epiphany" on race in America after the two had a candid chat at the White House on Wednesday.
The White House, along with a photo calling the senator "Tom" Scott, said in a statement released after the meeting that they discussed the "administration’s relationship with the African-American community, the bipartisan issue of improving race relations, and creating a more unified country."
"President Trump remains committed to positive race relations and looks forward to continuing the dialogue with Senator Scott, the African-American community, and leaders from diverse communities across the country, all of which have a wealth of perspectives and experiences with respect to this issue," the readout continued.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said that the two talked about Charlottesville "pretty in-depth, but the focus was primarily on solutions moving forward."
Scott (R-S.C.) told Vice News in a sit-down interview after the deadly Charlottesville protest last month that he was "not going to defend the indefensible" after Trump said there were "very fine people on both sides" of the white nationalist rally and blamed both sides for the violence after counter-protesters were run over, killing Heather Heyer. "What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority," the senator said, adding "that moral authority is compromised" with the comments Trump made.
The only black GOP senator, Scott has been frank about issues facing the African-American community including a highly personal floor speech last year on his frustrating experiences with law enforcement even as a member of Congress.
Scott told CBS after Wednesday's Oval Office meeting that Trump has "obviously reflected on what he has said, on his intentions and the perception of those comments" about Charlottesville. "I'll let him discuss how he feels about it, but he was certainly very clear that the perception that he received on his comments was not exactly what he intended with those comments."
"What I wanted to get out of the conversation was a focus on fairness and opportunity," the senator explained. "Most people of color and frankly all Americans, want to be treated fairly in this nation, and they want access to opportunities."
Axios, based on three sources with knowledge of the meeting, reported that the sit-down lasted for about half an hour and Scott shared his personal story with the president of being raised by a single mom in a poor Southern household. They reported that Scott "echoed the critical comments he made about the president after Charlottesville, explaining why he was troubled by them, and rooting them in the black experience in America — a history of slavery, grotesque violence and discrimination."