GOP senator 'encouraged' by meeting with Trump on race, Charlottesville

GOP senator 'encouraged' by meeting with Trump on race, Charlottesville
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Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Supreme Court allows lawsuits against Texas abortion ban Rapper French Montana talks opioid epidemic, immigration on Capitol Hill How expanded credit data can help tackle inequities MORE (R-S.C.) met with President Trump on Wednesday to discuss his response to violence in Charlottesville, Va., last month as well as broader race issues. 

Scott, the only African-American Republican senator, said the president understood why he and others were offended by his response to the white supremacist rally that resulted in dozens of injuries and the death of one counterprotester.
"I was encouraged [by the meeting] and ... it was nice that he was very much listening, and he had spent some time thinking about those comments and responded in fashion with what he thought was a better frame for his comments," Scott told reporters. 
But pressed if Trump specifically expressed regret for how he handled Charlottesville, Scott said Trump tried "to explain what he was trying to convey." 
"We certainly revisited the comments just to start the conversation with great clarity on the importance of why we were meeting," the GOP senator said.
Trump received widespread criticism for his response to violence in Virginia last month. He said during a press conference that both white nationalist groups and what he called the "alt-left" were to blame for violence and that there were "very fine people" on both sides.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the two had a "very productive meeting" and talked about the president's response to Charlottesville "pretty in depth." 
“They had a very open and honest conversation and promised to continue that conversation," she said. 
Scott, like many of his colleagues, criticized Trump's handling of the violence in Charlottesville, saying he had compromised his moral authority. 
He added on Wednesday it would take time for Trump to both regain that authority and change his behavior. 
"I think my comments about the compromise of moral authority was based on America's reaction. I think the restoration of moral authority will be based on America's reaction. It will take time," he said. 
Scott said he also shared his "personal story" with Trump during the meeting. Scott, who grew up in poverty, has spoken about his own background and experiences to underscore that the country still has room for improvement. 
In a dramatic floor speech last year he said he had been targeted by police, including at the U.S. Capitol, because of his race. 
Scott said he and the president also discussed potential legislation and that Trump was interested in possibly meeting again in the future to discuss issues tied to race and racism.
"He's obviously spent some time thinking through the issue, and he brought up other issues as well that were related to race and racism. I give him credit where credit is due," he said. 
The meeting came hours before Sanders announced Trump will sign a resolution condemning white supremacist organizations and urging Trump to speak out against hate groups. 
Vice President Pence also attended the Oval Office meeting. Scott noted they have been working together for roughly nine months with African-American businessmen to try to work on race-related legislation. 
Jordan Fabian contributed to this report