Republican senator says Trump's Charlottesville response compromises Trump's ability to lead


Republican Sen. Tim Scott continued to condemn President Donald Trump's defense of some protesters at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last week.

In an interview on CBS' "Face The Nation" on Sunday, Scott explained his argument that Trump's response to Charlottesville "complicates his moral authority" to lead the nation by equating neo-Nazis with counter-protesters.

"It's going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, that moral authority remains compromised," Scott said.

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TAYLOR, SC - APRIL 16: Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) visits Hidden Treasure Christian School in Taylors, South Carolina on Wednesday April 16, 2014. Here he watches teacher Stan Ellis, center, show Ryan Porter, 18, how to tamp down a seedling in the Vocational class. (Photo by Nanine Hartzenbusch for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 1: Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks to a group of students from Greenville (SC) Tech Charter High School on the Senate steps outside of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Barry Black (from left), Carol Mosely Braun, Roland Burris, Tim Scott, Mo Cowan and Cory Booker participate at an event discussing their personal journeys and the nation's progress with America's black senators at the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. (Pete Marovich/MCT via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 25: Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., left, speaks during the 'Honoring our Past and Celebrating our Future: Discussing Personal Journeys and a Nation's Progress with America's Black Senators' event, hosted by Sen. Scott on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Also pictured are U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, D-Ill., and former Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

He added: "His comments on Tuesday that erased his positive comments on Monday started to compromise that moral authority that we need the president to have for this nation to be the beacon of light to all mankind."

Scott urged Trump to try and forge deeper connections with black communities, saying the president needs to "have a personal connection to the painful history of racism and bigotry of this country."

"It would be fantastic if he sat down with a group of folks who have endured the pain of the '60s, the humiliation of the '50s and the '60s," Scott said.

"This would be an opportunity for him to become better educated and acquainted with the living history of so many folks — from John Lewis to my mother and so many others who have gone through a very painful part of the history of this country — so that when he acts, when he responds, and when he speaks, he's not reading the words that are so positive that he's breathing the very air that brings him to a different conclusion."

The South Carolina senator has repeatedly criticized Trump's Charlottesville response.

Scott said earlier this week that Trump's bungled Charlottesville response could also weaken the GOP legislative drive in congress as Republicans hope to pass major tax reform and infrastructure bills and raise the debt ceiling.

"When there is confusion where there should be clarity, it emboldens those folks on the other side," Scott told Vice News on Thursday. "It does not encourage the team to work as hard as we should on those priorities because there is so much headwind that you can't see straight."

Watch the clip, via CBS:

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