House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused Senate Republicans’ request for an apology about her comments suggesting a black Republican senator’s policing reform bill was “trying to get away with murder, actually — the murder of George Floyd.”
Speaker Pelosi owes Senator Scott an apology for these disgusting comments: https://t.co/ka3q5AtQp8
— Senate Republican Communications Center (@SRCC) June 23, 2020
In an interview with NBC, Pelosi said she will “absolutely, positively not” retract or apologize for what she said in response to a police reform bill authored by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).
“The fact is, I think you frankly in the press have given them far too much credit for a bill that does nothing,” she said.
Nancy Pelosi asked if she will apologize for her despicable comment that Senate Republicans are "trying to get away with murder, actually — the murder of George Floyd."
Pelosi: Absolutely, positively not. pic.twitter.com/GXo5pt2rNh
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) June 24, 2020
Pelosi did, however, backpedal in saying her comments were not directed at the bill’s author, but were instead meant for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) also issued a statement claiming his previous comments about the GOP senator’s bill, that it was a “token, half-hearted approach,” were not directed at Scott.
“The minute Sen. Durbin heard that he had offended Sen. Scott, he sought him out on the floor and apologized,” said a statement delivered by Durbin spokeswoman Emily Hampsten. “What Sen. Durbin took issue with in his floor speech was not Sen. Scott’s bill, but that the Senate Majority Leader would short circuit this critical debate and fail to make the changes needed to prevent the killing of Black Americans by police officers.”
Since his introduction of the JUSTICE Act, which would allow the federal government to yank funds from police departments that do not improve conduct, Scott has received many hate messages, according to recordings his office gave media. According to NBC News, some of the voicemails he received have “profanity, threats on the senator’s life and references to Confederate flags and the Ku Klux Klan.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) tweeted his reaction to this news and support for Scott.
“Shocked 2learn at lunch abt hateful msgs to Sen Tim Scott our ldr of police reform from ppl who must think somehow a black republican can’t lead this effort bc only democrats r qualified to talk abt race/police reform???,” he wrote in shorthand. “We ALL hv a responsibility to b kind even when we disagree!
Shocked 2learn at lunch abt hateful msgs to Sen Tim Scott our ldr of police reform from ppl who must think somehow a black republican can’t lead this effort bc only democrats r qualified to talk abt race/police reform??? we ALL hv a responsibility to b kind even when we disagree!
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) June 23, 2020