President Donald Trump is showing signs of “a better direction for the nation” on race issues, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said, one year after saying Trump’s moral authority was “compromised” by his comments following a violent white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally, during which a self-identified white supremacist plowed a car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing a woman and injuring more than a dozen others.
During an interview with VICE News in the days after the deadly rally, Scott criticized the initially slow and then combative statements by the president, who said “I think there is blame on both sides.”
Trump addressed the one-year anniversary Saturday, saying on Twitter, “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”
On CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Scott called Trump’s tweet “a positive sign of a better direction for the nation, without any question.
“The president condemning all acts of racism and violence is a positive step in the right direction,” said Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican.
After meeting with Trump following the Charlottesville rally, Scott said, Trump asked him what he could do to “make a difference in the country and bring people together,” Scott recalled. The senator said he laid out his “opportunity zones” legislation.
“We celebrate the success of this economy without any question,” he said. “But the reality of it is that there are pockets of this nation where the recovery has been uneven and the opportunity zone legislation supported by the president will have a positive impact, a power impact, in communities that are distressed and, disproportionately, communities that are black and brown.”
CBS host Margaret Brennan asked Scott if that has helped restore the moral authority that the senator questioned a year ago.
“I think there are a number of steps that the president has taken to move us in a better direction,” he said, citing Trump’s support of the opportunity zones legislation and his meetings with African-American pastors and business leaders in the year since the Charlottesville rally.