Departing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Lashes Out at Donald - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Departing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Lashes Out at Donald Trump

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The departing Senate minority leader says Donald Trump's election "has emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry" and he now must lead "a time of healing."
    
In a statement Friday, Nevada Democrat Harry Reid said white nationalists, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Islamic State extremist group are celebrating Trump's election "while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear."
    
He says that "does not feel like America."
    
Absent from the statement was any note of conciliation or a congratulatory olive branch.
    
The 76-year-old Reid is retiring at the end of this year after five terms, so unlike other congressional Democrats he has no imperative to try to make nice with Trump. That position allows him to give voice to bolder sentiments than other Democratic leaders who may need to try to work with Trump.
    
Reid's replacement, New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, has had little to say about Trump so far, but did congratulate him in a phone call and a brief statement. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi also offered congratulations and the prospect of working together on an infrastructure and jobs bill.
    
Reid said Trump's victory doesn't absolve him of "the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans."
    
He said Trump "may not possess the capacity" to relieve those fears but must begin trying to do that immediately.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement about the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States:

"I have personally been on the ballot in Nevada for 26 elections and I have never seen anything like the reaction to the election completed last Tuesday. The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America.

“White nationalists, Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory, while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear – especially African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, LGBT Americans and Asian Americans. Watching white nationalists celebrate while innocent Americans cry tears of fear does not feel like America. 

“I have heard more stories in the past 48 hours of Americans living in fear of their own government and their fellow Americans than I can remember hearing in five decades in politics. Hispanic Americans who fear their families will be torn apart, African Americans being heckled on the street, Muslim Americans afraid to wear a headscarf, gay and lesbian couples having slurs hurled at them and feeling afraid to walk down the street holding hands. American children waking up in the middle of the night crying, terrified that Trump will take their parents away. Young girls unable to understand why a man who brags about sexually assaulting women has been elected president. 

“I have a large family. I have one daughter and twelve granddaughters. The texts, emails and phone calls I have received from them have been filled with fear – fear for themselves, fear for their Hispanic and African American friends, for their Muslim and Jewish friends, for their LBGT friends, for their Asian friends. I’ve felt their tears and I’ve felt their fear.

“We as a nation must find a way to move forward without consigning those who Trump has threatened to the shadows. Their fear is entirely rational, because Donald Trump has talked openly about doing terrible things to them. Every news piece that breathlessly obsesses over inauguration preparations compounds their fear by normalizing a man who has threatened to tear families apart, who has bragged about sexually assaulting women and who has directed crowds of thousands to intimidate reporters and assault African Americans. Their fear is legitimate and we must refuse to let it fall through the cracks between the fluff pieces. 

“If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate. Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.  

“If Trump wants to roll back tide of hate he unleashed, he has a tremendous amount of work to do and he must begin immediately.”

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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