Despite that, Mr. Trump said that he and Mr. Scott had a “great conversation.” He described Mr. Scott as a longstanding friend whom he supported early in his career.
In his remarks to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Scott made it clear he had gone to the White House to rebut Mr. Trump’s claim that “both sides” were responsible. But he also said that he did not expect to change Mr. Trump’s mind — and that he had not.
“He is who he has been, and I didn’t go in there to change who he was,” Mr. Scott said on Thursday. “I wanted to inform and educate a different perspective. I think we accomplished that. To assume that immediately thereafter he’s going to have an epiphany is just unrealistic.”
Mr. Trump’s latest comments were a reminder that, for all the talk of a newly disciplined White House under the management of the chief of staff, John F. Kelly, the president remains an unpredictable character, with no intention of stifling his opinions.
In a 15-minute lightning round of questions and answers on Air Force One during a trip to Florida, Mr. Trump spoke about hurricanes and climate change, tax reform, Iran’s alleged violations of the nuclear deal, and his confidence in two top aides, Gary D. Cohn and Steven Mnuchin.
Mr. Cohn’s status as the president’s chief economic adviser has been in question since he criticized Mr. Trump’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville. Mr. Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, recently came under scrutiny for having his agency look into the use of a military aircraft for his honeymoon.
Mr. Trump said he had not heard about Mr. Mnuchin’s request but added: “I doubt he would do it. I’ve known him a long time; he is a very straight shooter. So it could be that he used a plane and is paying for it.”
As for Mr. Cohn, he said, “I have confidence in Gary, too.” Later, Mr. Trump noted that he also liked and respected Janet L. Yellen, the chairman of the Federal Reserve — a job that Mr. Cohn has openly coveted.
The president did not soften his position toward President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, who has become a sensitive figure in the multiple investigations of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia because of reports that she asked to have officials in the Trump campaign “unmasked” during intelligence briefings.
“She’s not supposed to be doing that, and what she did is wrong,” Mr. Trump said. “That’s just…