It Will Take Time for Trump to Repair His Moral Authority, GOP Senator Says

  • Only black GOP senator discussed Charlottesville with Trump
  • Scott says no ‘equilibrium’ with centuries of white supremacy

It will take time for President Donald Trump to recover his moral authority after saying both sides were to blame for violence at a white-supremacist rally in August, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the chamber’s only African-American Republican, said Wednesday after meeting with the president.

“The restoration of moral authority will be based on America’s reaction,” Scott said. “And that will take time." Scott earlier had said that Trump compromised his moral authority with his comments after the Aug. 12 confrontation in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter-protester was killed.

The senator said the president told him Wednesday he was trying to convey "that there were antagonists on the other side."

"So I shared my thought of the last three centuries of challenges from white supremacists, white nationalists, the KKK, neo-Nazis. So there’s no way to find equilibrium when you have three centuries of history versus the situation that’s occurring today," Scott said. The senator said Trump indicated that "he got it."

Scott said it would be “unrealistic” to think he could change Trump in a meeting, but that it was encouraging to have the talk and that Trump suggested they have more.

A White House statement issued after the meeting said the president "remains committed to positive race relations" and will continue to meet with Scott, other members of the African-American community, and members of other diverse communities, "all of which have a wealth of perspectives and experiences with respect to this issue."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Trump will "absolutely" sign a joint resolution passed by Congress condemning the Charlottesville violence and white supremacy, and asking the president to speak out against hate groups.

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