Sen. Tim Scott: Trump Should Sit Down with ‘Folks Who Have Endured the Pain’ of the 60s

By Melanie Arter | August 21, 2017 | 3:29 PM EDT

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) (Screenshot of CBS News video)

( – Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that it would be “very difficult” for President Donald Trump to lead the country if his “moral authority remains compromised” by his remarks following the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

“As we look into -- look to the future, it`s going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, that moral authority remains compromised. He went into office -- sometimes you have positional authority, and that is very hopeful, but the reality of it is this nation responds to moral authority, when we believe that our president has the entire nation`s best interests at heart,” Scott said.

“His comments on Tuesday that erased his positive comments on Monday started to compromise that moral authority that we need the president to have for this nation to be the beacon of light to all mankind,” he said.

Scott said what the president said last Monday “was fantastic” and that it “would have been even better had he said it on Saturday.” What the president said on Tuesday “was just really challenging.”

Scott suggested the president sit down with people who “endured the pain” and humiliation of the 50s and 60s.

“What the president should do before he says something is to sit down and become better acquainted, have a personal connection to the painful history of racism and bigotry of this country. It would be fantastic if he sat down with a group of folks who have endured the pain of the `60s, who`ve had humiliation of the `50s and `60s,” Scott said.

“This would be an opportunity for him to become better educated and acquainted with the living history of so many folks, from John Lewis to my mother and so many others, who have gone through a very painful part of the history of this country, so that when he acts, when he responds, and when he speaks, he`s not reading the words that are so positive, that he`s breathing the very air that brings him to a different conclusion, a conclusion that comes from the wells of his heart. That`s what America wants to see,” he said.

“That`s what we`re seeing in so many of the counterprotests. We`re seeing America rise in a way that it did not in the `60s, which I think is powerful and symbolic to the rest of the world, that we reject the darkness and we embrace the light. These are good times for those who believe that darkness must be put out and light must shine even brighter,” Scott said.

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