Tim Scott: Trump’s Moral Authority Was ‘Compromised’ With ‘Many Sides’ Talk

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As the only black Republican currently serving in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said the President’s comments about the violence that broke out on “many sides” at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend has put him, and everyone else in his party, in a difficult position.

In an interview with Vice News Thursday, Scott said he was encouraged by President Donald Trump’s remarks on Monday — 48 hours after the incident — finally condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis, but said his comments during an unhinged press conference on Tuesday “started erasing the comments that were strong.”

Trump told reporters that the “alt-right” and the “alt-left” were to blame for violence that broke out and eventually led to a neo-Nazi affiliated man allegedly driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters and killing one woman.

What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happened. There’s no question about that,” he said.

But, Scott said he was encouraged by the response by fellow Republicans and other leaders across the country, which was “exactly the opposite of what it was in the ’60s.”

“Racism is real. It is alive. It is here. But the response from the vast majority of this country is diametrically opposite of the response in the ’60s. We’ve had the United States military, generals, leaders, standing up and rejecting, completely, racism. We’ve had corporate America, which was fairly silent back in the ’60s, standing up very strong, very loud, and very proud,” he told Vice.

Watch the full interview below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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