Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Sunday brushed off implications that Republicans won’t agree to a border deal because former President Trump is opposed, denying Trump has any influence over the process.
“He’s irrelevant to this conversation. He’s not in office,” Scott said on “Fox News Sunday,” while laying blame on the Biden administration.
When asked by anchor Shannon Bream about reports that the GOP could oppose any deal due to Trump’s opposition, Scott responded: “I’ve talked to President Trump; he’s never asked me to oppose something.”
Scott also criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for not pushing Democrats harder for a deal more Republicans would agree on.
“We need to secure the border today, and the only way you can do that with a lawless administration is you have to make them do it. You have to tie it to something,” Scott said. “And what I don’t get, is Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to do that.”
The senator said blame for dissent over a border deal shouldn’t be placed at the feet of Trump, but instead hard-line anti-immigration voters.
“If you don’t want a secure the border today, don’t blame it on Trump. Say you don’t care what the voters think,” he added. “It’s not all what Trump thinks, the voters want a secure border today.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), meanwhile, denounced Trump’s influence over negotiations Thursday, calling it “immoral” for the GOP to consider the former president’s electability when discussing policy.
“I didn’t come here to have the president as a boss or a candidate as a boss. I came here to pass good, solid policy,” Tillis said. “It is immoral for me to think you looked the other way because you think this is the linchpin for President Trump to win.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had the same sentiment, calling efforts to kill negotiations “appalling.”