Republican senator warned Trump about ‘affirmation of hate groups’

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that during a meeting at the White House he tried to educate President Trump on “the real picture” of last month’s deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., as context to avoid “the affirmation of hate groups.”

Trump, who on two occasions blamed “both sides” and “many sides” for the violence that left one counterprotester dead and numerous others injured, received bipartisan criticism for his response to the violence. Het met with Scott on Wednesday to discuss race relations following the controversy.


“The real picture has nothing to do with who is on the other side,” Scott explained following the meeting, according to The New York Times

“It has to do with the affirmation of hate groups who over three centuries of this country’s history have made it their mission to create upheaval in minority communities as their reason for existence,” Scott said.

In response to Trump’s claim that “both sides” contributed to the violence, Scott said that “from a sterile perspective” the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville had “an antagonist on the other side.”

Scott, the only black Republican senator serving in the upper chamber, also told reporters that he provided Trump with his thoughts on white nationalists and white supremacists.

“I shared my thoughts of the last three centuries of challenges from white supremacists, white nationalists, KKK, Nazis,” he said. “So there’s no way to find an equilibrium when you have three centuries of history versus the situation that is occurring today.”

Scott also said Wednesday that he was “encouraged” by the meeting with Trump.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during the Wednesday press briefing said “not at all” when asked if Scott had expressed “his displeasure” with Trump’s first reaction to the clash in Charlottesville last month.

-This post was updated September 14 at 3:45 p.m.

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