The Senate’s lone black Republican urged President Donald Trump on Wednesday to keep away from inflammatory racial rhetoric corresponding to his assertion blaming “many sides” for the violence at a current white nationalist protest in Virginia.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina mentioned he met for roughly a half hour with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on the White House. He mentioned the president tried to clarify his remark, and why he mentioned there have been “very wonderful folks” among the many nationalists and neo-Nazis protesting the attainable elimination of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, final month.
“We had three or 4 centuries of rape, homicide and demise introduced by the hands of the (Ku Klux Klan) and people who consider in a superior race,” Scott advised reporters later on the Capitol. “I needed to verify we have been clear on the delineation between who’s on which facet within the historical past of the nation.”
Scott bluntly criticized Trump for assigning blame in a means that put white supremacist protesters on equal footing with counterdemonstrators who turned out for the Aug. 12 protests, sparked by Charlottesville officers’ resolution to take away a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
That comment, Scott mentioned, compromised Trump’s ethical authority as president.
On Wednesday, Trump advised Scott that he simply meant to convey “that there was an antagonist on the opposite facet” — to which Scott replied, “The actual image has nothing to do with who’s on the opposite facet.”
Scott continued: “I shared my ideas of the final three centuries of challenges from white supremacists, white nationalists, KKK, neo-Nazis, so there isn’t any option to discover an equilibrium when you will have three centuries of historical past.”
The president mentioned that he acquired the purpose, Scott mentioned. Asked if the president can regain his ethical authority, Scott responded, “That will take time.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders mentioned Trump and Scott had an “in depth” dialogue concerning the Charlottesville feedback, “however the focus was primarily on options shifting ahead.”
“That was what each folks got here to the assembly wanting to debate,” Sanders mentioned throughout a White House briefing. “What we will do to convey folks collectively, not discuss divisions throughout the nation.”
Scott mentioned Trump additionally introduced up Seattle Seahawks defensive finish Michael Bennett, who has accused Las Vegas police of utilizing racially motivated extreme power towards him.
Bennett sat on the bench in the course of the nationwide anthem earlier than Sunday’s recreation at Green Bay, one in every of a number of NFL gamers protesting in assist of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who stays unsigned after beginning the protests final yr to convey consideration to police brutality towards minorities.
“I consider he discovered it unsettling and difficult,” Scott mentioned.
This got here as a number of athletes, activists and celebrities signed a letter of assist for Bennett.
“Michael Bennett has been sitting in the course of the anthem exactly to lift these problems with racist injustice that are actually an intimate a part of his life. Now we stand with him,” the letter mentioned.
It was signed by Kaepernick; tennis legend Martina Navratilova; educational Cornel West; John Carlos, a U.S. Olympic champion who famously raised his black-gloved fist throughout a 1968 medal ceremony, and different athletes and activists.