Sen. Tim Scott, a Rumored VP Pick, Backs Trump’s Election Denial … from Mother Jones Julianne McShane

As the November election approaches, several of Donald Trump’s vice presidential contenders have taken part in what seems to have become an unofficial loyalty test: question the legitimacy of an election that does not end with Trump winning. 

On Sunday morning, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)—who NBC News reported in February was the leading candidate for the VP job—showed why he may be Trump’s favored candidate: he refused no less than six times to answer whether or not he would accept the results of November’s election no matter the outcome. 

Kristen Welker, host of NBC’s Meet the Press, noted amid this line of questioning that just this week, Trump falsely claimed he won Wisconsin in the 2020 election (he lost in that state to Joe Biden by more than 20,000 votes)—which Scott voted to certify. But each time she asked, Scott dodged. 

“Senator, will you commit to accepting the election results of 2024, bottom line?” Welker asked

“At the end of the day, the 47th president of the United States will be President Donald Trump, and I’m excited to get back to low inflation, low unemployment…”

“Wait, wait, senator, yes or no, will you accept the election results of 2024, no matter who wins?” 

“That is my statement,” Scott said. 

WATCH: @kwelkernbc asks @SenatorTimScott (R-S.C.) if he’ll accept the outcome of the 2024 election.

Scott: “The 47th president of the United States will be Donald Trump.”

Welker: “Will you accept the election results of 2024, no matter who wins?”

Scott: “That is my statement.”

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 5, 2024

Welker went on to remind him that accepting election results, even losing ones, is fundamental: “But senator, as you know, the hallmark of our democracy is that both candidates agree to a peaceful transfer of power. So I’m asking you as a potential VP nominee, will you accept to commit to the election results in this election cycle, no matter who wins? Just simply yes or no.” 

“I expect President Trump to win the next election and, listen, I’m not going to answer your hypothetical question when in fact I believe the American people are speaking today on the results of the election and if it continues—if it continues for the next six months, we find ourselves in a great position where we get back to another degree of American prosperity. I’m looking forward to that,” Scott said, adding later that he expects Trump to announce his VP pick within the next 60 days.

Trump has continued to sow doubt about whether he’ll accept the results of a free and fair election. Just this week, for example, he also suggested he may not accept the results Wisconsin this year. 

“If everything’s honest, I’ll gladly accept the results. I don’t change on that,” Trump told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday, when he was there for a rally. “If it’s not, you have to fight for the right of the country.”

A spokesperson for Scott did not immediately respond to Mother Jones’ questions on Sunday morning seeking clarification about the senator’s positions. Representatives for the Trump campaign also did not respond to requests for comment. 

Scott on Sunday also showed he was falling in line behind Trump on the question of regulating abortion. While he previously has said that he believed a 15-week federal abortion ban could be an acceptable “compromise” for voters, he said on Sunday that “there’s no question that President Trump has been very clear he wants the issue left to the states with three exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.” 

But when Welker asked if his view about the 15-week abortion ban had changed, Scott said, “I have certainly not changed my position whatsoever.”

As I’ve written, conservatives have urged Trump to enforce the Comstock Act—a 19th-century anti-obscenity law that bars the mailing of “every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use”—if re-elected, which abortion rights advocates fear could be used to enact a national abortion ban. In other words: Scott’s comments should not be taken lightly. 

Neither should his loyalty to Trump: Scott also repeated the lie on Sunday—also propagated by Trump—that Democrats “voted for abortion up until the day of birth.” 

WATCH: @SenatorTimScott (R-S.C.) campaigned on a federal abortion ban during his campaign.

But Trump — who he’s endorsed — says he wouldn’t sign one.

Scott: “Let’s get back to what the Dobbs decision created — which is an opportunity for the states to make their decisions.”

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 5, 2024

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