As VP Speculation Grows, Interviews Scott Gave Supporting Mueller Probe, Opposing Flynn Pardon Raise Questions

As VP Speculation Grows, Interviews Scott Gave Supporting Mueller Probe, Opposing Flynn Pardon Raise Questions

The name of Sen. Tim Scott has frequently come up on the short list of potential running mates for former President Donald Trump.

But interviews the South Carolina Republican gave in 2018 regarding then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia are worth considering.

Scott has been an outstanding advocate for Trump since ending his own presidential bid and endorsing the former president in the GOP primary race.

He has similar attributes as Mike Pence did as Trump’s running mate in 2016: He’s likable, forthright about his Christian faith and willing to keep the spotlight focused on the man at the top of the ticket.

Scott also has the crossover appeal sought by the more establishment Republicans.

Trump recently lauded the senator during a Fox News town hall in South Carolina when asked by host Laura Ingraham about who his running mate might be.

“A lot of people are talking about that gentleman right over there,” he said, pointing toward Scott in the audience, Politico reported.

“He’s been such a great advocate. I have to say this in a very positive way, Tim Scott, he has been much better for me than he was for himself. I watched his campaign, and he doesn’t like talking about himself. But boy does he talk about Trump. … I called him and I said, ‘Tim, you’re better for me than you were for yourself.’”

The 45th president made a similar point at a rally in the Palmetto State last month.

“I see him on ‘Deface the Nation’ and ‘Meet the Press’ and all the stuff, and he’s just killing everybody,” Trump said. “And I called him, I said, ‘You’re a much better candidate for me than you were for yourself.'”

“I say that with great admiration,” he added.

Both The Associated Press and Politico have Scott on the short list for Trump’s vice president, but the AP noted the presumptive GOP nominee has been coy on the subject.

In an interview last week with Michigan’s WJR-AM radio, he said he was in “no rush” to make an announcement, adding, “I want to keep you guessing,” according to the AP.

One thing Scott should have to answer first is why he got so firmly behind Mueller’s Russia investigation in 2018.

Hindsight is 20/20, but it seemed clear pretty early on that it was a Democratic witch hunt, staffed with supporters of Hillary Clinton and no known Republicans, save Mueller himself.

PolitiFact confirmed in March 2018 that Mueller’s investigative team consisted of 13 registered Democrats and no Republicans.

Nonetheless, the following month, Sunny Hostin, one of the co-hosts of ABC’s “The View,” asked Scott whether legislation moving through the Senate to protect Mueller’s job would pass.

“It will definitely pass without any question,” the senator responded. “I hope that it’s not necessary.”

“But the truth of the matter is, it is in the public’s best interest for us to not only continue the investigation but allow it to lead where it goes and then to finish the investigation,” Scott said.

“That’s how we restore confidence for the American people in the government is to make sure that investigations that provide information and bring things to light actually finishes,” he said.

Likewise, on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that same month, Scott stated his belief that the investigation should continue and that Trump should not pardon his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, or his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

“Keeping the pardon off the table is a necessary part of the process,” Scott told host Margaret Brennan. “I would be disappointed if President Trump were to pardon either one of these individuals.”

“The good news is that the Mueller investigation continues,” he said.

“The better news is that the public will have as much information as necessary to draw clear conclusions. And today, it only reinforces why it’s important for us to make sure that the investigation continues until it gets to the end,” Scott said.

Brennan followed up, “Does that mean you would support legislation to protect Bob Mueller from being fired?”

“I don’t know that we need legislation to move forward. I don’t know that there’s a single senator that would come out in favor of stopping the investigation from going forward,” Scott answered.

Mueller’s team eventually concluded in March 2019, about a year later, that the Trump campaign had not colluded with Russia.

In late 2020, Trump pardoned both Flynn and Manafort.

But the Mueller investigation had placed a cloud over the first 22 months of his presidency.

Contrast Scott’s position at the time with that of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who said in March 2018 that he understood “the growing concern that the special counsel may be a partisan fishing exercise,” The Texas Tribune reported.

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Cruz had voiced his apprehension that the investigation could go that way the previous summer just weeks after Mueller was appointed, though he originally approved of the pick, according to The Hill.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky characterized the investigation as a “witch hunt on the president” in July 2018.

Trump appears to be treating Scott’s support of the Mueller probe as water under the bridge.

But one must wonder: If the D.C. establishment were to come hard after Trump in a second term with some cooked-up investigation, would Vice President Scott have the president’s back?

The Western Journal reached out to Scott’s Senate office for comment on whether his views on the Mueller investigation or the pardons of Flynn and Manafort had changed but received no immediate response.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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