What Congress Did To Get Trump to Condemn White Supremacy

Sen. Mark Warner D-Va. left and Sen. Tim Kaine D-Va. right on Capitol Hill in Feb. 2015

While almost every lawmaker who spoke out on the subject made clear that they were, at least, uncomfortable with Trump's assessment that there were some "very fine people" among the white nationalists who rallied in the small Virginia city last month, resulting in the death of a counter-protester, few criticized the president by name. After that critique, Scott said the White House called him, asking what could be done in light of his critiques.

"I didn't say I love you because you're black, or I love you because you're white", President Trump said at the rally. The Senate - the upper chamber of U.S. government - had already approved the measure on Monday.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Kuwait leader Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah in the White House in Washington, September 7, 2017.

"However, the real picture has nothing to do with who is on the other side", he said.

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. Tim Scott's been a friend of mine for a long time.

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The White House issued a statement following the meeting, which included Vice President Mike Pence and other aides, that avoided mentioning Charlottesville or the President's contentious comments.

I think there is blame on both sides.

Scott, however, said that he did, in fact, recount his concerns during the meeting with the president's handling of the Charlottesville aftermath.

Congress' most prominent black member was shopping for furniture Friday when the White House communications office reached out to his staff to set up a meeting.

In addition to discussing Charlottesville, Scott pressed the president to back legislation that would provide development funding for poor urban and rural communities.

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Scott told reporters he wanted "measurable progress in reasonable time" and had talked about some legislative ways to make that progress, but said that much work remained to be done.

Trump drew criticism from members of both parties over the summer after blaming "both sides" for tense protests and counterprotests that erupted in the city of Charlottesville, Va., in a combative news conference on August 15. Het met with Scott Wednesday to discuss race relations following the controversy.

"I certainly think if he's looking for a model of reconciliation, he need to look no further than Charleston, South Carolina, and Mother Emanuel AME Church", Scott said.

While the senator said he understood the president's frustration with the reaction to his remarks, Scott said he explained the historical context of racism in the USA, and why it is so important to denounce white supremacist groups without hesitation.

When asked about the comment on Wednesday, Sanders called the tweet "a fireable offense".

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