While most Republicans have rallied behind President Trump after the unprecedented FBI raid on his home, South Carolina senator Tim Scott (SC) appears to be heading the other way.
When asked on CNN if he would support Trump in 2024, Scott refused to give a straight answer, the Hill reported.
Tim Scott distances himself from Trump
Without saying it directly, Scott appeared to tell host Dana Bash that he wants to move on from Trump. The Republican said he favors Trump’s “policy positions” but would not get more concrete than that.
“I hope that we will find a way back to where we are talking about principles,” Scott said.
But Scott was more definitive last year, saying “of course” he would support Trump in 2024.
Many are saying the FBI raid juiced re-election odds for Trump, whose political brand is based on the perception that he is an “outsider” to a corrupt political establishment. The raid already appears to have drawn momentum from Trump’s potential primary rivals as the GOP comes to his defense.
Trump was already the favorite to win the 2024 nomination, but a Republican strategist who advised another 2024 contender told Politico that “it’s over” now for those hoping to leave Trump in the past.
FBI raid juices Trump 2024
If it’s true that Trump is the undisputed GOP leader, Scott, who is rumored to have 2024 ambitions of his own, does not appear to have gotten that message.
The Republican may have damaged his standing with conservatives after his cautious reaction to the FBI raid, which the Right has decried as a “banana republic” shakedown of a former president by his top political rival.
While acknowledging that the raid doesn’t look good, Scott told CBS he would wait before forming conclusions.
“I think we should really, as opposed to rushing to judgment, the most important thing that we can do is let it play out,” Scott said. “Because I have no idea what they were looking for, and I don’t think anybody knows what they were looking for.”
Republicans had hoped Trump would wait to announce a presidential run until after the midterms, but there is speculation that the raid may accelerate that timeline.