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Sen. Tim Scott declines to say whether he would’ve certified 2020 election results if he were vice president

<i>CNN</i><br/>South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is pictured on CNN's
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South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott is pictured on CNN's "State of the Union" during an interview on February 18.

By Kit Maher, CNN

(CNN) — South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott on Sunday refused to say whether he would have certified the 2020 election results if he were vice president at the time, breaking with other high-profile Trump allies whose names have been floated as potential 2024 vice president picks.

“I’m not going to answer hypothetical questions, No. 1, and I didn’t know that I was a vice president hopeful. Thank you very much, Jake, for letting me know where I am on the scale,” Scott told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“What I’m actually more interested in is not my future, the future of America,” said Scott, who Trump has signaled is under consideration for his pick as vice president. “I want poor kids today, growing up like I did in impoverished neighborhoods and single-parent households to look to America’s future and say, ‘There’s a place for me at the top.’”

Scott’s refusal to answer the question comes as other potential Trump running mates, including Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York and Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio, have said they would not have certified the 2020 election results had they been Trump’s vice president, despite no evidence of fraud.

With Trump still considering his potential GOP vice president pick, Republican lawmakers are looking to place themselves in the former president’s good graces by reviving false claims about the 2020 election.

Scott voted to certify the 2020 election in the Senate and said in August, as a presidential candidate, that former Vice President Mike Pence “absolutely” did the right thing in certifying the results. Scott said Sunday that his position has not changed.

“I have not changed my view,” Scott said. “You’re asking a hypothetical question that you know can never happen again.”

Scott did part with Trump in his response to the death of jailed Russian opposition figure and outspoken Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “murderous dictator” who “always looks for ways to take out the competition and send a clear message just a few days or a few weeks before the Russian election.”

While Trump said nothing directly about Navalny in a post that his campaign said was his official response to the opposition leader’s death, Scott looked to cast the former president as a stronger candidate against Putin than President Joe Biden.

“We need strong leadership coming from America that actually pushes back against Russia and other dictators. Unfortunately, Joe Biden is not up for that charge, and Donald Trump is,” he told Tapper.

CNN’s Jack Forrest, Melanie Zanona and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.

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