Sen. Tim Scott said "I'm not going to defend the indefensible"
He said this in reference to comments the President made earlier in the week
Sen. Tim Scott added his voice Thursday to the chorus of Republican criticism over President Donald Trump’s comments on the racially motivated protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying his moral authority was compromised by his statements.
Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said in an interview with Vice News that he would not “defend the indefensible” after Trump said Tuesday that both the “alt-left” and white supremacists were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville — a day after he had condemned neo-Nazis and the KKK.
“I’m not going to defend the indefensible. I’m not here to do that,” Scott said. “His comments on Monday were strong. His comments on Tuesday started erasing the comments that were strong. What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happens. There’s no question about that.”
Scott’s criticisms are the latest from Republican senators who have distanced themselves from Trump and his remarks — criticism that has sparked a backlash from Trump on Twitter.
Scott told Vice that he felt the response to Charlottesville from the country was strong, specifically noting the business community’s movement away from Trump’s advisory councils in response to the President’s comments.
“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,” Scott said. “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.”
Scott said that he would work with Trump when they agree and speak out when he disagrees with the President, but he noted that Trump’s political capital has been damaged.
“It is always helpful for the President to have coattails … the President’s coattails are shorter,” Scott said.