President Trump signed an executive order on police reform Tuesday at the White House mandating more accountability among U.S. law enforcement as the nation continues to reel over the Minneapolis police killing of unarmed, African American man George Floyd. The measure will center largely on de-escalation training, use-of-force standards, and help bring swifter justice to officers who use excessive force. But as expected Trump's measure was not enough for some Democrats.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) appears to believe that Trump's action is actually a good stepping stone and called it "helpful" on Wednesday. Not only that, but Sen. Scott has commended the Trump administration for their work to permanently fund Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to enact the FIRST STEP Act to promote criminal justice reform, and - something he can personally attest to - the White House's work on Opportunity Zones to help close the wealth gap. As Sen. Scott noted, it has the potential to bring $75 billion into the most distressed communities in the country.
Clyburn suggested his fellow South Carolinian was full of BS.
CLYBURN: None of that’s true. The fact of the matter is --
BAIER: None of that’s true?
CLYBURN: None of that is true. I went to an HBCU. I’m a graduate of South Carolina State University. I have been fighting for HBCUs all of my life. This is not the most money that’s ever gone to HBCUs. That is just absolutely not true.
BAIER: What about the FIRST STEP Act or Opportunity Zones?
CLYBURN: Well, the president signed that bill, but Cedric Richmond wrote much more of that bill than the president ever read.
So I know how that bill got done. Hakeem Jeffries wrote that bill. These guys were working on stuff in that bill for I don’t know how many years. How long have we been trying to get these things done?
So they get wrapped into the bill, his son-in-law came up and worked with people to get the bill done, and the president signed it.
He refused to give any credit to Trump for the successes Scott mentioned because he said he "doesn't deserve it." He also downplayed Sen. Scott's efforts, sharing particular scorn for those Opportunity Zones, which Clyburn called "gentrification on steroids," borrowing a phrase from a local Charleston newspaper.