Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) on Sunday defended Donald Trump after he was ordered to pay over $83 million in damages for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll by a New York jury, saying voters are unlikely to care about the outcome of the case.
Scott, who appears to be auditioning to be Trump’s vice presidential pick, said most Americans aren’t interested in Trump’s legal woes, when asked if the latest verdict against the former president gave him pause.
“Myself and all the voters that support Donald Trump [support] a return to normalcy as it relates to what affects their kitchen table,” Scott told ABC’s Martha Raddatz.
Trump, who was previously found liable of defaming and sexually abusing Carroll, on Friday was ordered to pay the writer $7.3 million in emotional damages, $11 million in reputation-related damages and $65 million in punitive damages.
But Scott argued the verdict is not an issue which affects voters.
“The average person in our country, Martha, isn’t — they’re not talking about lawsuits,” Scott said on ABC’s “This Week.” “As a matter of fact, what I have seen, however, is that the perception that the legal system is being weaponized against Donald Trump is actually increasing his poll numbers.”
Scott, who suspended his own 2024 presidential campaign in November, endorsed Trump shortly before the New Hampshire primary. His decision raised eyebrows given Nikki Haley, Trump’s rival in the GOP primary, appointed him to his Senate seat during her time as South Carolina governor.
Scott also stood by Trump as he attacked Haley’s appearance and made special mention of the senator’s endorsement of him during his speech following his victory in the Granite State.
“Did you ever think that she actually appointed you, Tim?” Trump asked. “And you’re the senator of her state. And [you] endorsed me.”
“You must really hate her,” he added.
“I just love you,” Scott replied.
Pressed by ABC’s Martha Raddatz to share his reaction to Trump’s repeated attacks against Haley, including calling her a “birdbrain,” Scott failed to condemn the former president.
“His language is far more provocative than mine,” he said.
The Republican senator also deflected questions regarding Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. Scott has previously said President Joe Biden was legitimately elected president.
“I will simply say that the American people are more concerned about tomorrow than they are yesterday,” Scott said. “And because of that, the race that we’re seeing coming to light today is Joe Biden’s four years versus Donald Trump’s four years. We don’t need to litigate what happened in 2020.”
Trump has appeared open to the prospect of selecting Scott as his vice president.
“He’s a guy that I look at,” Trump said on “The Howie Carr Show” last week.