Harry Reid Is Dying, and He Doesn't Hold Back

Former Senate majority leader offers his biting assessment of President Trump
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2019 1:04 PM CST
Harry Reid on Trump: Without Question, Our Worst President
In this April 3, 2018, file photo, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks during a joint appearance with former Secretary of State John Kerry during a lecture series at the University of Nevada, Reno.   (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)

Harry Reid "does not have long to live." Mark Leibovich puts it bluntly in a New York Times Magazine profile of the former Senate majority leader, who is himself quite blunt at times. Leibovich writes that he was the first to be granted an interview with Reid since it emerged in May that the 79-year-old was being treated for pancreatic cancer; he visited Reid at his Henderson, Nevada, home in December. Leibovich charts Reid's backstory, to his high school days in Henderson, a destination that required a total of 90 miles of hitchhiking to get to each day. He recalls a rough and poverty-stricken childhood and a job as a Capitol Police officer that got Reid through George Washington University Law School. Upon his return to Nevada he worked as gaming commissioner for a time, "which placed him in the cross hairs of the Las Vegas mob."

Leibovich uses that detail to segue to President Trump, asking Reid if he agrees with some critics' description of Trump as operating like a Mafia boss. Reid disagreed, citing the "chaos" surrounding Trump. Then came the blunt remarks: "I think he is without question the worst president we've ever had. We've had some bad ones, and there's not even a close second to him. He'll lie. He'll cheat. You can't reason with him." In a follow-up call to Reid just hours before the shutdown began, Trump came up again. "You can't legislate when you have a chief executive who's weird, for lack of a better description. Why in the hell didn't [Jeff] Sessions leave? Same with [John] Kelly. I'd say, 'Go screw yourself.' I could not look my children in the eye." Read the article in full here. (More Longform stories.)

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