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CNN’s Erin Burnett Questions Tim Scott on Trump’s Response to Protests: Are You Comfortable With ‘Dominate’ Rhetoric?

CNN’s Erin Burnett spoke with Senator Tim Scott (R- SC) Friday night and pressed him on President Donald Trump’s response to the protests and riots going on across the country over the killing of George Floyd.

Burnett brought up the president’s talk this week of how governors need to “dominate” the streets and crack down, asking Scott if he’s “comfortable” with that language.

Scott — who recently spoke with the president — said Trump is “simply trying to say we have to have order in the streets,” and told Burnett that the focus should be more on justice for Floyd.

“This incident is not simply in the minds of African-Americans about Mr. Floyd, it’s about decades of the same struggle, the same deaths, same murders that have gone unreported. Thank God for film, thank God for videos that say it is happening because most of us would say it’s been happening all our lives,” he said.

He acknowledged that the dispersal of protesters in Lafayette Park was “unnecessary, not appropriate at all,” but the senator added, “The president’s response was that he had no clue about that, so I have to take him at his word.”

At one point as they talked about the economy — specifically the jobs numbers for African-Americans, Burnett remarked, “When black unemployment was trending to that all time low that we were at before coronavirus, black men were still 2.5 times more likely than white men to die during an encounter with police, according to a study we were showing. Does the President of the United States — at his core, senator, you talked to him — does he understand that, does he respect that? Does he care about that?”

“I actually think he does care,” Scott said. “When we started the conversation about criminal justice reform, we reflected back on the terrible damage done in the African-American community by the 1994 crime bill. The ability to make right those wrongs was part of the objective of this president. And while that may not be popular everywhere, it is specifically popular in the African-American community. I was there at the White House, many conversations, five years of work, three years led to the cresecendo where we got it passed. The disproportionate beneficiary of President Trump’s First Step Act are African Americans, and that’s good news. I want to see more of that.”

You can watch above, via CNN.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac