This is just unbelievable. Literally.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump met with with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate.
According to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the meeting went swimmingly. Asked during the Wednesday press briefing whether Scott expressed any criticism of Trump’s abominable reaction to the racist riot in Charlottesville, Sanders responded, “Not at all.”
She was, as she has done many times, lying through her teeth.
According to The New York Times, Scott “delivered a pointed history lesson on America’s ‘300-year’ legacy of racism” to Trump and called Trump’s response to the riots “sterile.”
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Scott was gracious toward Trump, but it was clear from his statements that he was not especially satisfied with their meeting, and he certainly let Trump know the criticisms he has voiced to the media about Trump’s reaction.
“Anyone who expects an epiphany or a transformation to happen overnight because somebody walks in the room, I think, doesn’t understand human nature,” he said.
Given Trump’s defense of Nazis and white supremacists, his declaration that some of them are “very fine people,” and his passionate and repeated pronouncements that “beautiful” Confederate statutes should be preserved in cities throughout America, it’s not surprising that Trump has failed to have an epiphany.
The fact is that Trump has shown no remorse for his comments or any interest in understanding why so much of the country remains so deeply offended by them. He has instead been stubbornly defensive, attacking his critics and claiming that he somehow is the victim.
In fact, during the same White House press briefing Wednesday, Sanders called for ESPN to fire a black female reporter who criticized Trump and said he rose to power because of white supremacists.
To add even further insult to injury, the White House released a photograph of Trump’s meeting with Scott — and called him by the wrong name.
The White House just sent out a photo of Senator Tim Scott meeting with President Trump. They call him, "Tom Scott." pic.twitter.com/8AkbmiNHTj
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) September 13, 2017
If the White House thought that a photo op with a black senator whose name it cannot even get right was going to erase the deeply embedded national impression that this president is not racist and does care about fighting white supremacy, Wednesday’s behavior did not help. At all.