U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said his meeting with President Trump this week on race issues went well, but added he is not sure if he changed the president’s mind.
Wednesday’s meeting came after Scott questioned the president’s moral authority during the White House response to a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last month.
The State newspaper reports that Scott thinks Donald Trump may now understand how he could have handled the episode differently. Originally, Trump maintained there were “Antifa” protesters opposing the white supremacist rally who also incited violence.
“My response was, while that’s true – if you look at it from a sterile perspective, there was an antagonist on the other side – however, the real picture has nothing to do with who’s on the other side,” Scott told reporters. “It has to do with the affirmation of hate groups who over three centuries in this country’s history have made it their mission to create upheaval in minority communities as the reason for their existence.”
Scott is the Senate’s only black Republican, had reservations about the president’s moral compass in August when Trump said that many sides were to blame for the violence at the white supremacist rally, including some of the people who showed up to protest hate groups.
Trump continued sticking with the “both sides” argument during his own explanation Thursday of the closed-door meeting. ” You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that’s what I said,” the president said during a huddle with reporters on Air Force One. “Now because of what’s happened since then with Antifa. When you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’”
In response, Scott told BuzzFeed News he thinks it unrealistic to expect President Trump would change his mind immediately on race.”At the end of the day, I voiced my concerns about the thought that somehow three centuries of American history of raping and murdering people based on their color is somehow equal to what Antifa is doing today,” Scott told the online news website.