Pro-Trump Pastor Darrell Scott didn’t hold back in his rebuke of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ariz.), who was the among 12 Republicans who recently opposed a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill.
“He’s the new Bull Connor,” Scott said in an interview Wednesday with Fox News host Harris Faulkner, likening the senator to the Birmingham law enforcement official who vehemently and violently opposed the civil rights movement in the Alabama city during the 1950s and ’60s.
“And I told his chief of staff … Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.) will be the next [former segregationist Alabama Gov.] George Wallace if you guys don’t let this thing go to vote,” he added.
The measure, which affects only the federal criminal justice system, makes modest reforms to sentencing guidelines and could lead to the shortening of existing terms for 6,000 to 7,000 prisoners among the 181,000 people incarcerated in the federal system. The bill would not affect the remainder of the 2.1 million prisoners held in jails and state prisons in the United States.
The pastor went on to discuss the behind-the-scenes efforts to get the bill through its first major hurdle, as well as previous talks he had with President Donald Trump and ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions about it.
Faulkner pointed to Republicans’ objection that the bill, called the First Step Act, would ultimately help “free hardened criminals.”
Scott responded by saying he was “very mad” over the fact that fellow Republicans were against the bipartisan effort, arguing “they’re just afraid a bunch of Black folk are gonna be let out of prison to run amok in the streets of America.”
“I told ’em I would come up to Washington D.C. with 500 angry Black people and we’d start kicking some doors in,” the pastor added. “I told them that point blank.”
“Wow,” a stunned Faulkner replied.
Scott told Faulkner the opposition by Republicans “smelled of racism.” When asked what Cotton might have to say about his remarks, he replied, “Tom Cotton has my number. Tell him you can call me and we can talk about it mano a mano.”
Watch more in the clip below.