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Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump's botched Charlottesville response was the low point of his presidency for some of his key aides. Now, he has a chance for a reset, at the same time that he's reveling in the adulation for his surprise deal with Democrats.

Trump meets one-on-one Wednesday with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Republican senator who is African-American, who told Vice after Charlottesville that the president's "moral authority is compromised."

Why it matters: Scott grew up poor in the South, as the son of a single mom who toiled as a nursing assistant. He has been harshly critical of Trump on racial issues, and plans to expose the president to his own moving life story in forceful terms.

  • Scott, who endorsed Marco Rubio during the primaries, blasted Trump for his reticence in denouncing the KKK.
  • Scott lambasted Trump as late as mid-October for "oftentimes toxic" rhetoric. But he said he would vote for him anyway, because Hillary Clinton had also said "vicious" things.
  • Scott pilloried Trump on "Face the Nation" after the Charlottesville violence, saying the president needs to "sit down and become better acquainted — have a personal connection to the painful history of racism and bigotry of this country."
  • Scott was repulsed by Trump's blame of "both sides" for racial carnage, and for suggesting there were "very fine people" among white-nationalist chanters.

Scott sought the meeting before Charlottesville, sources tell Axios' Jonathan Swan:

  • The senator hopes that exposing Trump to new views — and a life story vastly different from Trump's privileged upbringing — will lead to a broader White House conversation on issues affecting minority communities, including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), poverty, and the overall direction of the country on race.
  • But first, Scott plans to tell the president his own story in "very personal" terms, and underscore how seriously he took what Trump said, and didn't say, after Charlottesville.

Scott has a powerful testimony for Trump: The senator has spoken movingly about a conversation with his mom during high school about why a pair of Converse high tops was beyond their means. He has recalled how his family once took refuge in the home of a strong grandfather — and how he later drove that teary-eyed man to vote for Barack Obama.

And Scott gave a series of speeches on the Senate floor about police mistreatment of African Americans:

  • "[M]y brother, who became a Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army, ... was ... pulled over by a law-enforcement officer who wanted to know if he had stolen the car he was driving because it was a Volvo."
  • "I don't know many African-American men who don't have a very similar story to tell — no matter their profession, no matter their income, no matter their disposition in life."
  • And he told of a shocking encounter with a Capitol Police officer who said with "a little attitude" that he didn't recognize the senator: "The pin, I know. You, I don't."

Be smart: Aides say Trump is most likely to take in information if there's a personal story attached to it. The session with Scott provides exactly such an opportunity. The moment could be fleeting or consequential, depending on whether Trump realizes that, at 71, he has a lot of catching up to do.

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Go deeper

What happens now that emergency orders are lifting

Expand chart
Data: National Academy for State Health Policy and various governor declarations; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Soon, more than half the states will have ended their formal emergency declarations for the pandemic — which could have a ripple of effects across the economy.

Why it matters: Lifting those orders will allow businesses to serve more customers, but will also end certain safety nets, including expanded food and housing assistance, as well as eviction protections.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

500 Hong Kong police officers raid pro-democracy newspaper

Chief Operations Officer Chow Tat Kuen (front 2nd R) is escorted by police from the Apple Daily newspaper offices before being put into a waiting vehicle in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong's Apple Daily said 500 police officers searched the pro-democracy newspaper's offices and arrested five senior executives on Thursday.

Why it matters: The arrests of the paper's chief editor, Ryan Law, along with its chief operating officer, two other editors and the CEO of Next Digital, which operates Apple Daily, were made under China's national security law — which gives the government broad power to limit people's political freedom.

World Bank rejects El Salvador's request to help implement bitcoin

President Nayib Bukele, giving a speech in El Salvador's legislative assembly in San Salvado earlier this month, pushed for bitcoin to become legal tender. Photo: Emerson Flores/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images

The World Bank has rejected the government of El Salvador's request to help the country implement Bitcoin as legal tender, Reuters first reported late Wednesday.

Why it matters: The international lender's rejection could hamper the government's goal of making the digital currency accepted across the country within three months.