Sen. Tim Scott said Thursday that President Trump had lost "moral authority" in the aftermath of the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., according to a report.
"I'm not going to defend the indefensible," the South Carolina Republican told Vice News, referring to the president's comments about the deadly unrest at a Unite the Right rally held in the Virginia city Saturday. "[Trump's] comments on Monday were strong. His comments on Tuesday started erasing the comments that were strong."
Trump initially refused to condemn by name the neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups behind the Charlottesville rally, which became deadly when James Fields allegedly drove a car into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Trump eventually named the groups and called them "repugnant" on Monday, but appeared to walked back those remarks during an impromptu press conference on Tuesday.
Scott, the only black Republican in the U.S. Senate, said "racism was real" and "alive" in America but that military and corporate leaders were standing up to the phenomenon, unlike in the 1960s.
The same, however, cannot be said about Trump, Scott added.
"What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority," Scott said. "And that moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happened. There's no question about that."
On Monday, Scott praised Trump's denouncement of the hate groups but said the remarks would have been "more impactful" on Saturday.
"I hope this serves as a lesson for all that when a community grieves, when Americans look for guidance after such a crushing and devastating attack like the one that unraveled this weekend in Charlottesville, we must take a firm stance against hate and violence," he wrote in a statement.