WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Harry Reid doubled down Thursday on President Donald Trump, calling him a man with “no conscience” for his insistence to build a Southwest border wall and for shutting down the government over the demand.
Reid, 79, called Trump “amoral” in a New York Times Magazine interview published last week.
On KNPR radio Thursday, Reid underscored it: “I think he is amoral. I don’t think he has a conscience.”
He added that “there is no better example of that than building this wall.”
Reid said the partial government shutdown that resulted from Trump’s demand is denying federal workers pay, causing hardship to families, and “it’s affecting little mom-and-pop stores.”
“It’s just so foolish,” he said during the 49-minute radio interview. “I think it’s terrible for this country.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment. Last week, a spokesman declined to comment.
Trump and other Republicans have noted that Reid introduced a bill in 1993 to revoke birthright citizenship. Reid later denounced that legislative effort and last year called it a “mistake” after Trump cited the bill and the former Nevada senator’s more hawkish stance on illegal immigration to push his own effort to end the practice.
Reid touched on several state issues during the radio show, such as the Nevada presidential caucuses andYucca Mountain, and took questions from listeners.
The former senator retired from the Senate in 2017 and was diagnosed last year and treated for pancreatic cancer.
Reid said in the radio interview that he was “doing fine” and in “good health.”
Over the years, Reid has battled with adversaries such as former President George W. Bush. Reid called him a liar for reneging on a campaign promise to abandon the Yucca Mountain project.
Later as a Senate leader, Reid blocked the nuclear waste repository. He said the current congressional delegation is doing a good job but will continue to be tested by supporters in other states.
The selection of Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee and the move of Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., to the Senate Finance Committee put the state in “good position” to block efforts, Reid said.
In other state-related matters, Reid said the Nevada presidential caucuses have been good for the state. He said he has spoken to a number of Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, considered a potential candidate for the party’s nomination in 2020.
Reid said the fact that California and Texas have moved up their primaries to early March 2020, just behind Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, will siphon off some of the focus from the state.
“That’s going to take away the strength of the caucus,” Reid said.
On the GOP side, Reid said newly minted Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, would be a “great foil against Trump” and should run as a Republican alternative against the president.
Romney told CNN earlier this month that he would not run against Trump in 2020, but said the president has “not risen to the mantle of the office.”