Tim Scott Didn’t Speak At MLK Event Because He Declined Invitation To Attend

AP

A source connected to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the only sitting black senator, was not invited to speak at the event because his office had declined an invitation to attend the commemoration as a spectator, Roll Call reported.

An email exchange obtained by Roll Call showed that an invitation to the 50th anniversary commemoration appeared to be sent to all members of Congress, as the form letter identified the recipient as “Representative” rather than by name. 

The exchange showed that a staff assistant to Scott, Rachel Shelbourne, sent a reply to the invitation that read in part, “Unfortunately, the Senator will be in South Carolina during this time, so he will be unable to attend the event. Please do, however, keep him in mind for future events you may be hosting,” as quoted by Roll Call.

The source explained to Roll Call that the speaking program was largely drafted according to who was able to confirm availability to attend the event.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reportedly were invited to speak at the ceremony, but declined.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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