Republican Rick Scott Tries to Defend Trump: 'I Didn't Do The Tweets,' Says Cummings 'Attacked' Border Patrol

Florida Senator Rick Scott joined several top Republicans Sunday in defending President Donald Trump's divisive tweets directed at Baltimore and Congressman Elijah Cummings, saying he was more "disappointed" in the Maryland Democrat, claiming that Cummings "attacked Border Patrol."

Scott, who was the two-term governor of Florida before winning his senate seat in the 2018 election, stammered around his own words Sunday as NBC News' Chuck Todd asked him if he had any issues with Trump "spending a lot of time on Twitter trying to racially divide the country."

Rather than address that concern directly, Scott instead lashed out at Cummings for "attacking" Border Patrol agents. He ultimately found himself unable to defend the president's remarks, telling Todd to go ask Trump if what he said about Baltimore was racist or not: "Look, I didn't do the tweets."

"[Do Trump's tweets] undermine efforts of the Republican Party in the state of Florida?" the Meet the Press host asked Scott Sunday.

"First off, I think it's important that you talk to everybody. Whether you're running for election or once you're elected you represent everybody," Scott said, striking a seemingly conciliatory tone. "On Friday I met with a group of Chinese Americans and Venezuelans... We've got to do everything we can to try to bring this country back together."

Todd pressed Scott, who is on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, pointing out that "multiple times this month alone" Trump had used "racial resentment tweets" to stir division across America.

"I, uh, I, look I — I didn't do the tweets, Chuck. I can't talk about why he did what he did," Scott said, stammering repeatedly. "You can ask him why he did the tweet," he later added.

Scott continued, "Let's look at what [Trump] said and why he did it. Congressman Cummings sat there and attacked our Border Patrol agents. This reminds me of what happened to soldiers who came back from Vietnam."

He added: "I'm very disappointed in the people like Congressman Cummings, who is attacking Border Patrol agents that are trying to do their job when the Democrats won't give them the resources to do it. They won't secure the border. They won't fix the asylum laws. And then Democrats want to sit there and say, 'Oh, those Border Patrol agents don't care.'"

Scott reiterated how he has been to the southern border and that Homeland Security officials and Border Patrol officers on the ground needed more funding to effectively perform their duties. Todd continued pushing back on Scott, accusing the Florida Republican of being softer on Trump than Cummings.

"It's not lost on me that you're harsher on Elijah Cummings than you are on the president and what he's done," said the Meet the Press host. "You seem hesitant to do this, to criticize the president individually on these things. I understand the politics of it, but do we ever heal if each side just goes into their corner?" Todd asked.

Scott declared that any time he disagrees with the president he will say so and if and when he disagrees with Trump he will also say so. He claimed the president was "not happy about" Scott disagreeing with him about "many" aspects of the president's strained relationship with Puerto Rico.

"I'm going to do what I believe is in the best interest of my state," Scott continued. "I'm disappointed when people are out there attacking border patrol agents — would I like everybody to come together and work together? That's what I'm trying to do in my state."

"Right now the country is divided because of a lot of things," he concluded.

rick scott defends trump tweets
Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott tried defending Trump's tweets about Baltimore from accusations of "racism" by stammering around his own words. Screenshot: NBC News