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Zaid Jilani weighs in on The Washington Post's fact-check of Tim Scott

Journalist Zaid Jilani Friday weighed in Friday on The Washington Post’s much-criticized fact-check article on Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottClyburn says he's willing to compromise on qualified immunity in policing bill Democrats hit crucial stretch as filibuster fight looms Updating the aging infrastructure in Historically Black Colleges and Universities MORE (R-S.C.), which looked into a story Scott frequently tells about his family history.

The Post last week published an article fact-checking the story of Scott’s grandfather, Artis Ware, who the senator says dropped out of school at an early age to work on a cotton farm and never learned to read and write. Scott has also told the story of his great-great-grandfather, Lawrence Ware, who at one point owned 900 acres of land in South Carolina.

The Post said that its research revealed “a more complex story than what Scott tells audiences,” but they ultimately chose not to rate the tale in their “Pinocchio Test.”

The paper wrote that while Scott’s “cotton to Congress” line “is missing some nuance,” the senator may be relying on “memories of his grandfather, not a detailed examination of records.”

Jilani, in an interview with Hill.TV’s “Rising,” said the Post could have instead presented the information differently, instead of as a fact-check on him.

“Had The Washington Post written out this story, given in these details, as part of a larger biography on Senator Tim Scott, as part of maybe debates about social mobility, I think it would have been fine,” he said.

Jilani said that Scott did not lie in his telling of the story, he just did not “give all the details.”

“Doing it as a fact-check, kind of holding him accountable, kind of suggesting that he had misled people or lied — he really didn't, right? He kind of told the story as it was, he didn't give all the details. And if you have all the details you just get sort of more of the nuance of the picture,” Jilani said.

“It certainly isn't that he was lying and it certainly isn't that he wasn't dirt poor, he was very, very poor if you know anything about his childhood. The fact that they owned a little bit of land just meant that they were in a circumstance of many other poor family farmers,” he added.