Sen. Tim Scott Monday insists that former President Donald Trump is "not guilty" of inciting insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and that the people who actually entered the building and the congressional chambers are the people responsible for the violent attacks.
"The president is simply not guilty so that's why I'm in the position I'm in," the South Carolina Republican said on Fox News' "America Reports." "I was in the chamber when the rioters were coming over. I was taking my jacket off, my tie off, rolling my sleeves up, in case I had to fight. The chances of me understanding and appreciating the severity of the situation is 100%."
But, Scott said, he doesn't blame Trump or the "nonviolent protesters" who remained outside.
"I blame the individuals coming into the chamber, the building. The Democrats should put the blame where it stands, where it should be. It does not have to do with the president who said go peacefully to protest."
Scott acknowledged that Trump's words to his followers during a speech at the Ellipse just before the riots were "not helpful," but he also does "not believe his words created an insurrection against this country."
He added that there have been Democrats who have not been punished for their use of incendiary language. Their comments have been covered as political speech, said Scott, and as 'not a big deal if you are a Democrat. But if you are a Republican, the standard seems to be different."
Meanwhile, there will be "no way to have a fair trial" for Trump, when "all hundred members have been on the record for taking a position for or against the process itself," said Scott.
"It's hard for me to think that we shouldn't be spending more time debating and trying to defeat the coronavirus package," he added. "We should be debating why we are not increasing the minimum wage, but we should increase the minimum wage by increasing employment which puts more pressure on the bottom and the wages go up. These are the things we should be doing for the American people. Not wasting their money and time."
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