GOP senator: Trump willing to 'listen' to concerns about race

GOP senator: Trump willing to 'listen' to concerns about race
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Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottIf Republicans rebuked Steve King, they must challenge Donald Trump McConnell rebukes Steve King over white nationalist comments Steve King faces new storm over remarks about white supremacy MORE (R-S.C.) said that while he didn't see "eye to eye" on the issue of race with President Trump after the president's comments on the violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year, he thought Trump was "willing to listen" to his concerns.

Scott spoke to a group of conservative college students in Washington on Thursday and said the president was "graceful enough" to invite him to the Oval Office for a conversation after the controversial comments last year.

“The president and I did not see eye to eye on the issue of race,” said Scott, referring to Trump’s comments following the violence between white supremacists and counterprotesters at the Charlottesville rally.

Trump said there was “blame on both sides” after one person was killed by an alleged white supremacist driving his car into a crowd.

Scott was among a number of Republican lawmakers who criticized the president after the comments.

Scott on Thursday said that following his criticism of the president's comments, Trump was “graceful enough” to invite him into the White House for “serious conversation about race.”

Although the senator said he did “not assume that a 30-minute conversation with someone would change the way they saw the world,” he said Trump’s “willingness to listen was powerful.”

Scott said Trump specifically asked him how he can “improve the lives of people.”

Scott felt “empowered” to have a conversation about “how to cross the divide” between the “haves and the have-nots.”

Scott spoke to the president about Opportunity Zones, a section of the tax bill that refunctions unused capital gains from the U.S. budget into distressed communities.

“For low-income communities, this could truly be a game changer,” Scott wrote for The Hill

Scott said Trump “followed up the next day and started supporting my legislation.”

“Today that legislation is law, and there are now billions of dollars targeting distressed communities because the president was willing to have a conversation, even though we didn’t come to the same conclusion,” Scott said.