COLUMBIA, S.C. — The only black Republican in the U.S. Senate is sitting down with Donald Trump to discuss the president’s response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia last month, The Associated Press learned Tuesday.
Tim Scott and the president are set to have a one-on-one meeting Wednesday, a source told The Associated Press. The source had knowledge of the meeting but wasn’t allowed to discuss it publicly.
Scott, in the Senate since 2013, offered some of the bluntest criticism of the president’s response to the violence sparked by the decision by Charlottesville, Virginia, to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. In the days that followed, the South Carolina Republican said Trump’s moral authority was comprised after his initial comments that appeared to equate neo-Nazis and white supremacists with those who came out to oppose them.
“If the president wants to have a better understanding and appreciation for what he should do next, he needs to hear something from folks who have gone through this painful history,” Scott said last month on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” ”Without that personal connection to the painful past, it will be hard for him to regain that moral authority, from my perspective.”
Scott has spoken out on the topic before from the chamber’s floor, discussing in July 2016 his own brushes with racial profiling, even while wearing his senator lapel pin.
“The pin, I know,” Scott said he was told by a Capitol Hill policeman. “You, I don’t. Show me your ID.”
Wednesday’s conversation comes after months of discussions between Scott’s office and the White House about how Scott can use his personal experience to help the administration broaden its horizons when it comes to dealing with race issues facing minorities, like opportunities for the poor, the source said.