Sessions, Tim Scott discuss racist violence in South Carolina

Sessions, Tim Scott discuss racist violence in South Carolina
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Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRhode Island announces plan to pay DACA renewal fee for every 'Dreamer' in state Mich. Senate candidate opts for House run instead NAACP sues Trump for ending DACA MORE sat down with Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottWhy President Trump’s 'both sides' argument has merit GOP senator: 'There is no realistic comparison' between antifa and white supremacists Trump on white supremacists: ‘Pretty bad dudes on the other side also' MORE (R-S.C.), the Senate's lone black Republican, to discuss recent racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., in a surprise visit to South Carolina on Thursday.

The Post and Courier reported that Sessions was in town for a closed-door meeting with local law enforcement officials to discuss the Justice Department's law enforcement goals, when he had some one-on-one time with the South Carolina senator.

Scott told the Post that he and Sessions spoke about last year's shooting at Mother Emanuel church in Charleston, S.C., adding that the discussion naturally evolved into a discussion about the recent violence in Charlottesville, which came during a rally organized by white supremacists to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. A 32-year-old woman died when a man with alleged racist connections plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.

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"We were just having a dialogue on Charlottesville that led into Mother Emanuel," Scott said Thursday. "And we talked about Dylann Roof, and we talked a little bit about Walter Scott as well."

"I was making the point that as a Charlestonian, we are very familiar with the provocative nature of hate and the challenges that one faces when confronting it," he added. "I thought it was important for me to share those thoughts with the attorney general."

Scott told the news outlet that Sessions made clear to him that investigating the violence in Charlottesville was the agency's "number one priority."

"We talked about the fact that, according to Jeff Sessions, it is their number one priority. They are spending the resources and making sure that whatever is necessary to close this case and do the work of that case is going to be done," Scott said.

"There is not a higher priority from his perspective than Charlottesville," he added.

Scott's comments came hours after he said in an interview with Vice News that President Trump has lost "moral authority" after his response to violence in Charlottesville. 

“I’m not going to defend the indefensible. ... [Trump’s] comments on Monday were strong," Scott said. "[But] his comments on Tuesday started erasing the comments that were strong."

In the wild impromptu press conference Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his claims that "both sides" deserved blame for violence by white nationalists in Charlottesville.