BUCK: We’ve got Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina with me here in New York City in-studio. He’s got a new book out today: America, a Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity. Senator Scott, great to have you here, sir.
SEN. SCOTT: Thank you, Buck. Good to be with y’all.
BUCK: We want to get you to react first and foremost to what we’ve learned the last 24 hours about the FBI raid on President Trump, former President Trump’s residence. What are your thoughts at this stage?
SEN. SCOTT: It’s unprecedented. I can’t think of a justice system that would be more concerning to everyday Americans than the current one when you see folks coming out against not only President Trump but coming out in such a way that they’re using the FBI as a political tool. That is something that is quite scary. It’s unprecedented, stunning, shocking, and something that’s very concerning.
One of the things that is important for us to win elections coming this November is to have the oversight authority to really dig into some of the cases. You think about just last week when we had Christopher Wray before the Judiciary Committee because of this political nature that seems to be growing in the FBI. Someone has to call that to the carpet. We tried some of that last week, but you need to be in the majority to have serious oversight of the FBI.
CLAY: Senator, do you think the Biden White House was aware that this raid was gonna happen? They say that they were not. Are you troubled by the idea that they may well have been involved? Do you think they are involved at all with Merrick Garland and Christopher Wray? Should they have to answer questions about those issues?
SEN. SCOTT: Clay, I’ll say it this way. I cannot imagine the president of the United States not being informed by the raiding of a former president. Something unprecedented in the history of the country happening on your watch and you suggest that you have no clue what’s happening? That’s just hard for me to believe.
BUCK: What do you think is gonna come in the days ahead here? What are your expectations or concerns out there, Senator Scott, that we could even see a federal criminal indictment leveled against former presidency? What are the questions you want answers to, and what do you expect is gonna happen in the days ahead?
SEN. SCOTT: Well, I think the question about what’s gonna happen in the days ahead is the open-ended question that we won’t know the answer to. But we know looking back may be a predictor of what we’re gonna see looking forward to. Looking back, what we saw was basically a witch hunt from a couple days before President Trump took office until the day he left the office. Every single day in between was a witch hunt.
So what we should be concerned with is whether or not this administration, the Biden administration, the FBI will continue the same kind of aggressive behavior against any American citizen, let alone the former president of the United States. I am concerned because as a guy who wrote a book about redemption and the story of opportunity which is the story of America.
You look through my pages of my book; you come to the conclusion that I believe that America is the answer, not the problem, much because much of my conclusion is based on this level playing field that is necessary for everyday Americans to believe that — no matter what happens — in the eyes of justice, in the eyes of the law, we will be treated equally. That is a big question mark in today’s activities and the events that have trance paired over the last 24 hours.
CLAY: No doubt. Your book, by the way, America, a Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity, out today. We’re talking to Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. And you mentioned America as a redemption story, an opportunity. Senator, I’m curious what you think about this. I was flying back from Detroit — my wife from his Michigan — and there was a guy in front of me in line who was wearing an American flag T-shirt. And I thought to myself, “I bet that guy votes Republican.” I don’t know that I ever would have had that thought in the 1980s, the 1990s, or the 2000s. How wild is it that merely being proud to be Anna American and even having an American flag T-shirt is now representative and potentially a signifier of how you vote in elections?
SEN. SCOTT: You know, it’s an unfortunate current manifestation that there are symbols that I believe are historically sound, not provocative, like the American flag, that we all rally around if you’re blue or red, so to speak, or Republican or Democrat, in today’s current environment, the truth as I had walked through airports with my American flag on my face mask, you could just look at the people who saw it and you could tell by their reaction whether it was approval or whether it was a rejection of the concept that I was wearing the American flag.
And you would see men and women walk up to you and shake your hand or give you a fist bump or a thumbs-up simply because of the American flag on your face mask. And today, we should all celebrate the fact that we are Americans. We’ve been given the greatest common citizenship on earth, which is American citizenship. And we should, frankly, understand and appreciate what it takes to defend and keep consistent that theory of American evolution that has been going in the right direction for, frankly, the last five decades of my life.
BUCK: We’re talking to Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. Senator, we’re hoping — Clay and I are hoping and the audience is hoping — that you’re gonna have some new Republican colleagues in the Senate after this midterm election. How do you think this is going so far? There’s obviously a number of really important and pretty close Senate contests that are gonna play out between now and November. Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona. What are your thoughts on some of the Senate races? And are Republicans gonna take back the Senate?
SEN. SCOTT: I think today we have a lot of work to do, just to be frank with you. I think the momentum is heading in our direction. You see that by the House seats that we will pick up. I think we’ll have a strong majority in the House. We have much work to do and a lot of resources to invest in order to win back the Senate. Let me give you a couple of examples. I have already endorsed the three candidates that you’re talking about. Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, JD Vance in Ohio, Adam Laxalt in Nevada, as well as Herschel Walker in Georgia.
Those are four key states that we need to win every single one of them, mostly because Georgia should be a red state, red to the roots. Pennsylvania and Ohio are both states today held by Republicans. We need to hold those seats, and then we have to pick up someplace. I think one of the best pickups we have is Adam Laxalt in Nevada. He’s a strong, consistent candidate that excites every facet of the Republican Party. That means we have a shot there. But we’re gonna have to find another place to get lucky as well, from my perspective.
CLAY: Dr. Oz is gonna be on the show on Friday, by the way. We’ll look forward to that.
SEN. SCOTT: Excellent.
CLAY: Senator Scott, you’ve been mentioned as a high-level potential vice presidential candidate with Donald Trump, in the event that he runs in 2024, which a lot of us think he is. Do you spend any time at all thinking about the idea of being a vice president or president?
SEN. SCOTT: I really don’t. (laughing) I’ll be honest with you. I am so thankful to have lived a life that I have and ended up in the United States Senate. The truth is that as a former football player — you and I just talked about the greatness of the Carolina Gamecocks, maybe me more than you. (laughing)
SEN. SCOTT: But at the end of the day I think that next Saturday’s game is the only game in town and focusing all of my attention on doing a good job for the people of South Carolina is the best way for me to have my bosses of South Carolina continue to give me a chance to represent them. Whatever the future holds, God bless it, but the best way to figure out the future is to perform today.
CLAY: Senator, you just mentioned the South Carolina Gamecocks. I’ll give you an easy one here. Shane Beamer, your new head football coach, Spencer Rattler, your quarterback. Year 2 for Beamer. Year 1 for Spencer Rattler. I obviously am a monster college football fan.
SEN. SCOTT: Yes.
CLAY: What are the Gamecocks gonna do this year?
SEN. SCOTT: I’m gonna go 8-4, which is —
SEN. SCOTT: I think it’s optimistic expectation, but listen. Beamer is a fantastic motivator. And it seems like the kids rally around him, and they play better because of the way that he motivates them. There’s strong discipline of the team, and in my opinion when games are close, discipline wins.
BUCK: I just want to reiterate the Senator’s analysis, Clay, of the football situation there. Well said.
SEN. SCOTT: (laughing)
CLAY: Senator, we took Buck… He’d never been to a college football game. We took him down to Ole Miss-Alabama, and I think his head’s still on a swivel over how crazy it was.
BUCK: It was a great time, a lot of fun. Senator Tim Scott, everybody. He’s got a book out today. You all should go check it out. Get yourself a copy it. America, a Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity. Senator, appreciate you coming to hang out in studio. Good to see you.
SEN. SCOTT: Thanks so much, Buck. Have a good one.