WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMBF) – U.S. Sen. Tim Scott sat down with President Donald Trump on Wednesday to talk race relations in light of this summer's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, but ended up hitting on a number of topics.
"I thought the 30 to 45 minutes we spent together was time well used," said Scott, the Republican junior senator from South Carolina, while speaking with WMBF News on Thursday. "While we definitely covered Charlottesville, I did not want to spend all the time I had with the President of the United States on a single topic when there are so many things that are important to the welfare of the American people. I wanted to make sure we covered that as well."
Scott did cover the president's sequence of controversial comments that occurred over four days and were in response to the violence that broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. One woman was killed and dozens more were injured.
At one point, Trump said "both sides" were responsible for the violence, according to NBC News. Those comments were roundly criticized by a bipartisan cadre of lawmakers and community leaders.
"As I said to him (President Trump), two of the days were fine or great. The third day, Tuesday, he eroded the quality of the comments on Monday, the day before," Scott said. "I wanted to start there and at least illuminate why I thought it was important for us to revisit the challenges that came of that conversation, or those comments, for the nation and what I thought we could do to put us in a better position moving forward because, ultimately, the issue is not an issue of race. The issue is an issue of fairness and opportunity for the nation."
Scott also discussed what South Carolinians should think when they see the Senate's only black Republican and the president together in the Oval Office.
"No. 1, I guess from a personal reflection, it is a blessing from the good lord of the people of South Carolina that I serve them in the nation's capital and to have the opportunity to sit down one on one and talk about the future of the country with the chief executive of the country," Scott said. "No. 2, the importance of the nation focusing on the future more than we do the past. No. 3, mending the past through the vehicles that are present, so legislatively, leadership and staying focused on healing and reconciliation."
Scott also discussed with the president his thoughts on tax reform, which include a two-tiered approach.
"No. 1, make tax reform about take-home pay for the average American and No. 2, let's make sure that the American economy is competitive so that we continue to grow more jobs at home," he said.
Then there were the senator's socks. A White House photo showed Scott wearing a very colorful pair of footwear during his meeting with the president. WMBF News asked him if, in fact, they were a shout-out to S.C. State University.
"If I was smart, I would say yes," Scott said. "The truth is, I like all of our schools in South Carolina. I like something colorful on my outfit since I have to wear blue and dark gray all the time."