Departing Senate Minority Leader Reid Lashes out at 'Sexual Predator' Trump | NBC Bay Area
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Departing Senate Minority Leader Reid Lashes out at 'Sexual Predator' Trump

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"

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    A file photo of Harry Reid and Donald Trump

    Departing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid lashed out at Donald Trump on Friday as "a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate." 

    The Nevada Democrat said in a statement that "If Trump wants to roll back the tide of hate he unleashed, he has a tremendous amount of work to do and he must begin immediately." 

    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." 

    "Watching white nationalists celebrate while innocent Americans cry tears of fear does not feel like America," he said. 

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    “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," Reid said. "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."

    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. 

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    For Democratic leaders who have spent months campaigning for Democrat Hillary Clinton and against Trump, his election now presents a challenge on several levels, including whether or how to try to reach out to him. Reid doesn't have to deal with such considerations and instead on Friday aimed harsh parting shots at Trump, whom he'd spent months denouncing on the Senate floor. 

    "Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans," Reid said. "Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try."