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Sen. Tim Scott won’t say if he would accept 2024 results

Sen. Tim Scott, RS.C., declined to say whether he would accept the results of the 2024 presidential election six times in an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

The refusal from Scott, widely considered to be on Donald Trump’s vice presidential shortlist, to directly answer questions about accepting the results regardless of who wins comes the former president and presumptive Republican nominee, continues to spread baseless election conspiracy theories and said last week he wouldn ‘t accept the results in the swing state of Wisconsin if he loses.

“At the end of the day, the 47th president of the United States will be President Donald Trump,” Scott said. “That’s my statement.”


What You Need To Know

  • Former President Donald Trump has yet to pick a vice president, but some top contenders gathered with him in Florida this weekend at a donor retreat
  • In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott refused to say if he would accept the 2024 election results if Trump loses
  • Another vice presidential hopeful, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, played down Trump’s comparison of the Biden administration to Nazi Germany
  • And one-time contender South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem defended her decision to shoot and kill her 14-month-old dog in a gravel pit, a story she wrote about in her new book

Pressed six times by “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker, Scott said “this is why so many Americans believe that NBC is an extension of the Democrat party” and continued to say Trump will win in November without committing to what he would do if Trump loses.

Falsehoods about the 2020 election culminated with Trump’s supporters attacking the US Capitol to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s win on Jan. 6, 2021. Still inconsistent that the contest was stolen from him, an assertion that has been shot down by dozens of judges and state election officials of both parties, Trump has said he will not accept the results if he loses this time around and has speculated there may be more politically-motivated violence if he does lose again.

“If everything’s honest, I’ll gladly accept the results. I don’t change on that,” Trump told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week, speaking about the 2024 election in Wisconsin. “If it’s not, you have to fight for the right of the country.”

Trump lost Wisconsin to now-President Joe Biden by about 21,000 votes in 2020, but falsely said in the interview that he actually won.

In a TIME magazine interview published last week, Trump also said “if we don’t win, you know, it depends” if there will be political violence.

“It always depends on the fairness of an election. I don’t believe they’ll be able to do the things that they did the last time. I don’t think they’ll be able to get away with it,” Trump told the magazine.

Scott initially ran against Trump in the Republican primary this cycle, but dropped out in November 2023 after failing to gain traction. In January, he endorsed Trump. In February, Scott also declined several times to say if he would have ratified the results of the 2020 election as Trump’s then-Vice President Mike Pence did after the Capitol was attacked by a violent mob, some of whom chanted “Hang MIke Pence.” Pence refused to endorse Trump this cycle.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, another primary challenger-turned-endorser of Trump’s and a vice presidential hopeful in his own right, avoided directly answering if he was concerned about the specter of violence, adopting a similar tack to Scott by saying Trump will win and talking about the importance of voters’ confidence in election systems.

“Yes, well, you know, I’m looking forward to next January when Vice President Harris certifies the election for Donald Trump,” Burgum said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “The American people are the ones that get to decide these elections. But for both parties and for all Americans, we’ve got to make sure that every county, every precinct is beyond reproach, that everyone can be confident in our country.”

Burgum later added he believed Biden won the 2020 election, but spoke of “a huge number of irregularities” in vote counting without specific offerings of potential issues.

Scott, Burgum and other potential prospects for a spot on Trump’s ticket this fall gathered in Florida for a donor retreat this weekend. Scott said on Sunday that the vice presidency was not discussed.

“We had no conversations about the VP pick, to be honest with you, to be clear. But we had a lot of conversations about the failures of Joe Biden and the success of Donald Trump,” Scott said. “I hope that the President will choose a person who helps the country unite and heal. I certainly expect to have a decision from President Trump in the next 60 days or so. But he didn’t bring it up. I certainly didn’t bring it up.”

At the retreat, Trump compared the Biden administration to the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany, according to The New York Times. Burgum confirmed the comment was made on Sunday, but downplayed its severity.

“This was a short comment deep into the thing. That wasn’t really central to what he was talking about,” Burgum said. “I understand that he feels like that he’s being unfairly treated (because of his four criminal prosecutions). And I think that’s reasonable that someone who’s being kept off the campaign trail is the presumptive nominee. He’s got some frustration about that.”

Burgum went on to say that if Trump were a convicted felon, he would still support him.

Trump is spending four days a week in a New York City courtroom, on trial for 34 counts of falsifying business records connected to alleged hush money payments he made to keep negative stories, including of alleged affairs, from surfacing during the 2016 election. His other three cases — a federal prosecution for his handling of classified documents in Florida, a state racketeering case centered on his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia and a Washington federal probe into his efforts to stay in power — have yet to go to trial.

Trump also reportedly, per the Times, said this weekend that Democrats use welfare programs to bribe Americans for their votes. Burgum pointed to student loan debt as an example.

“At what point does it cross over, programs like student debt, to just vote buying?” Burgum said. “I think it’s clear that there’s vote buying going on at a scale like we’ve never seen before.”

Biden’s campaign slammed Trump’s reported remarks, saying in a statement that “what Donald Trump dismisses as ‘welfare’ to his billionaire donors are benefits Americans have earned: Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.”

“Trump is once again making despicable and insulting comments about the Holocaust, while in the same breath attacking law enforcement, celebrating political violence, and threatening our democracy,” Biden campaign spokesperson James Singer said.

Another contender for the GOP vice president slot, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., did not rule out moving from his home state if he was tapped by Trump, who now resides full time in Florida. A constitutional technicality does not bar both candidates on a ticket from being from the same state, but it does keep Electoral College electors from that state from voting for both of those candidates. It’s a scenario that’s never been tested in US history.

“I saw it this weekend, the amount of talent that we have in the Republican Party is extraordinary. He doesn’t just have a bunch of choices for VP, he has a bunch of choices for a Cabinet,” said Rubio, who also attended the retreat, on “Fox News Sunday.” “He’s going to have an extraordinary group of talented people that can serve this country in multiple roles.”

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a top-ranking member of House GOP leadership, said she was “honored” to have her name under consideration.

“You have so many up and comers who are working hard every day to save America,” Stefanik said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “And this is really a unified campaign to support President Trump who will save this country.”

And South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another attendee at the retreat and a one time vice presidential prospect spent her Sunday defending a section in her new book which has received near-universal denouncement across the political spectrum: the time she shot and killed a 14-month-old dog in a gravel pit because it misbehaved on a bird hunt. She suggested she handled the situation better than Biden has handled his dog Commander, who had to be removed from the White House after he kept biting Secret Service agents and other staff.

“Joe Biden’s dog has attacked 24 Secret Service people. So how many people is enough people to be attacked and dangerously hurt before you make a decision on a dog?” Noem asked on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “That’s what the president should be accountable to.”

Mention did not directly answer when asked by moderator Margaret Brennan whether she believed Biden should have shot Commander.