Watch CBS News

Senator Tim Scott says Trump has "obviously reflected" on his Charlottesville comments

Tim Scott says Trump has reflected on Charlottesville
Tim Scott says Trump has "reflected" on Charlottesville comments 00:43

For more of Nancy Cordes' exclusive interview with Sen. Tim Scott, watch "CBS Evening News" and CBSN

Sen. Tim Scott believes President Trump has had a chance to reflect on the controversial comments he made after the deadly white nationalist rally last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, and he says that Mr. Trump told him the perception of his remarks wasn't "what he intended."

The Republican from South Carolina gave an exclusive TV interview to CBS News Chief Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes after meeting with Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, in a discussion that touched on issues of race, discrimination and opportunity in America. Scott attracted both praise and criticism when he said Mr. Trump "compromised" his "moral authority" in blaming "both sides" for violence in Charlottesville, saying there were "very fine people" among the white nationalist protesters. After that critique, Scott said the White House called him, asking what could be done in light of his critiques. The result, at least a part of it, was Wednesday's meeting. 

Cordes asked Scott if Mr. Trump felt remorse over his remarks. 

"He's obviously reflected on what he has said, on his intentions and the perception of those comments," Scott said. "I'll let him discuss how he feels about it, but he was certainly very clear that the perception that he received on his comments was not exactly what he intended with those comments."

Sen. Scott: Trump "was very receptive to listening" 02:07

Cordes asked Scott what he wanted the president to understand about how people of color felt about the president's comments.

"What I wanted to get out of the conversation was a focus on fairness and opportunity," Scott said. "Most people of color and frankly all Americans, want to be treated fairly in this nation, and they want access to opportunities."

When Scott initially criticized Mr. Trump's handle on "moral authority," he hoped Mr. Trump would take this chance to meet with people of different backgrounds who have faced discrimination. 

"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," Scott told CBS News' "Face the Nation" last month. 

Scott's meeting with Mr. Trump comes as the House and Senate this week passed a resolution rejecting white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other groups, and urging Mr. Trump to do the same, in light of the Charlottesville violence. The resolution is headed to Mr. Trump's desk for him to sign. 

Cordes' interview with Scott will air Wednesday night on "CBS Evening News." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.