Tim Scott: Trump Condemnation of Racism ‘Step in the Right Direction’

Tim Scott: Trump Condemnation of Racism 'Step in the Right Direction'

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., says he sees a “positive” difference in President Donald Trump’s stance on racism in America, praising him for going “in the right direction.”

In an interview aired Sunday on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Scott — the GOP’s only African American member of the upper chamber — denied Trump’s rhetoric as racist.

“His tweets yesterday morning were a positive sign of a better direction for the nation without any question,” Scott said of Trump’s condemnation of racism on the anniversary of deadly unrest triggered by a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va.

“The president condemning all acts of racism and violence is a positive step in the right direction.”

Though Scott conceded some of the president’s rhetoric on immigration is “offensive,” he insisted it’s not racist.

“There’s no question that some folks took offense to some of his tweets or things that he said [on the travel ban on Muslim-majority nations],” Scott said, noting he himself thought Trump’s calling some countries “**it-holes” was “not helpful and offensive,” though “I’m not sure that was specifically racial.”

“I was surprised and, perhaps pleasantly surprised, when the president suggested that he was willing to allow 1.8, 1.9 million [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] eligible folks to come and stay in the country and find a path to permanence,” he added. “That to me was a good sign that he was willing to negotiate.”

Scott also said Republicans in general are coming around on racial justice issues.

“I honestly think that a lot of Republicans are leaning forward,” he said, adding: “The fact that I’m the leading cosponsor on the lynching legislation is true but it does not necessarily tell the whole story on other Republicans who are engaged in the process of making sure that we have a level playing field in the criminal justice space.”

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