'I didn't do the tweets, Chuck': GOP senator sputters as he shamefully ducks question on Trump's racism
Showing exactly the kind of spinelessness that has become expected in the modern GOP, Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida refused to condemn President Donald Trump's newest racist attacks on Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland on NBC News' "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.
Host Chuck Todd pressed Scott on the president's weekend tweets about Cummings. As the chair of the House Oversight Committee, the Maryland Democrat has been a leading critic of the president, the White House, and the administration, recently pushing for subpoenas of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's emails and criticizing the Department of Homeland Security for the abominable conditions in which it detains migrants. In what was widely interpreted as a brazenly racist attack, Trump lashed out at Cummings on Saturday and Sunday:
Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol abou… https://t.co/7svlPwKJu5— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1564226068
....As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded.… https://t.co/5NEW7Thmxu— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1564226068
Todd correctly linked this to Trump's other recent racist attacks (while pointedly avoiding the term "racist") and pushed for Scott to respond.
"The president spends a lot of time in his Twitter feed trying to racially divide the country. Does that undermine efforts of the Republican Party in Florida?" he asked.
Scott deflected, pointing to groups of Chinese-Americans and Venezuelans he recently met with. But Todd brought the conversation back to the president.
"He obviously thinks this is good politics inside the Republican Party — do you think it's good politics inside the Republican Party?"
Scott then said "let's look at what he said" — and then proceeded to ignore the president's words. Instead, he disparaged Cummings, claiming the Democrat "attacked out border patrol agents." In fact, Cummings criticized Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan for the abusive conditions of the border facilities, which the department's own inspector general said violate policy.
"That justifies a racial resentment tweet in response? Is that presidential leadership?" asked Todd.
Struggling to find words to respond, Scott eventually said, "Look, I didn't do the tweets, Chuck."
It must have taken true courage to say that.
Watch the clip below:
WATCH: @SenRickScott responds to the president's racially charged tweets #MTP #IfItsSunday "I didn't do the tweets… https://t.co/f7gZ0pnTVQ— Meet the Press (@Meet the Press) 1564325719