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Tim Scott blows off Trump calling Haley ‘bird brain’

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) dodged questions on Sunday about former President Trump’s attacks on his 2024 rival Nikki Haley, refusing to denounce the former president’s remarks including ones in which he called her “bird brain.”

Trump mocked and made personal attacks on Haley during his New Hampshire primary victory speech on Tuesday, including making fun of her dress and calling her a “bird brain.” Haley’s campaign called the speech a “temper tantrum.”

ABC’s Martha Raddatz pressed Scott on “This Week” about Trump’s comments after he initially avoided discussing the attacks on Haley. 

Scott attempted to deflect the conversation onto Haley’s attacks on Trump instead particularly involving cognitive decline, including her claims that Trump is too old to be president.

“Here’s what I can tell you, both candidates, and all candidates, should focus on the issues without any question,” he said. “But Nikki Haley talks about the president’s age and a competency test. I think that turns off senior voters. It’s one of the reasons why-”

“But go back to Donald Trump,” Raddatz interrupted. “I want to talk about Donald Trump.”

“Well, it’s one of the reasons why senior voters support Donald Trump,” Scott said, continuing his previous point. “Here’s what we should ask ourselves. And I’m asking myself-”

“Please, please answer the question about him calling her a bird brain,” Raddatz asked again.

“You worked with her,” she added. “She appointed you a senator. Do you like that kind of language?”

“His language is far more provocative than mine,” Scott responded.

Scott previously brushed off Trump’s personal attacks earlier this week, arguing that Trump “does what he does.” He’s declined to criticize the president over his comments after Scott himself dropped out of the race, despite his previous relationship with Haley.

Scott appeared with Trump after his New Hampshire win last week.

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