President Trump is facing questions about whether he has the moral authority to lead the nation from a member of his own party, and a request for a mental evaluation from a Democratic lawmaker, after his remarks on the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the chamber’s sole black Republican, called into question Mr. Trump’s ability to lead the country Sunday, adding to the growing backlash the president is continuing to face as race relations remain unsteady as more Confederate statues were vandalized over the weekend in Kansas City and Indianapolis.
Mr. Scott isn’t alone in his criticism of the president, as fellow Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said earlier this week that the president hasn’t demonstrated the stability needed to be successful.
Additionally, House Democrats introduced a censure resolution on Friday to publicly reprimand Mr. Trump; Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California introduced legislation calling for the president to have a mental evaluation.
The widespread criticism comes after the president said there were “fine people” on both sides of the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville during a press conference Tuesday, after having said racism is evil Monday.
“As we look to the future, it’s going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, that moral authority remains compromised,” Mr. Scott said during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“His comments on Tuesday that erased his positive comments on Monday started to compromise that moral authority that we need the president to have for this nation to be the beacon of light to all mankind,” said Mr. Scott.
Mr. Scott said the president should sit down with those who have experienced the pains of racism and bigotry.
But former GOP presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, an unlikely voice, defended the president, praising him Sunday for his response to the free-speech protests in Boston the day before.
Free-speech activists protested at Boston Common, one of the country’s oldest public parks, but were met by about 40,000 counter-protesters.
The rallygoers were escorted out of the area by police, as counterprotesters scuffled with and threw objects at officers. City officials characterized the event as mostly peaceful.
Smaller protests have occurred in other cities across the country, but none experienced the violence and media coverage as what transpired in Charlottesville.
Mr. Trump sent out tweets about the Boston protests, praising the police and those demonstrating against bigotry.
“Our great country has been divided for decades,” he tweeted Saturday. “Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!”
Mr. Kasich said Mr. Trump’s upcoming rally in Arizona, which is scheduled for Tuesday, is an opportunity for him to unite people.
“He has it within him to overcome this and move forward, because if all we are doing is questioning his motives and what’s in his heart … how does the country make it?” Mr. Kasich told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
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