Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid lambasted FBI Director James Comey in a Monday interview with CNN, claiming that Comey “single-handedly” cost Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton the election.
Comey had released a letter to congressional leaders less than two weeks ahead of the election announcing that authorities had discovered additional emails related to the investigation into her use of a private server. The agency then announced days before the election that the additional emails would not alter its initial decision to not bring forth charges against the former secretary of state.
“Had he not written that letter a week or so before the election, she would have won,” Reid said. “We would have picked up at least two more Senate seats.”
The Nevada Republican also criticised Comey for not taking a stronger stance against reported Russian meddling in the US election, of which the Washington Post and New York Times reported Friday that an assessment by the CIA concluded that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump’s presidential bid.
“They ignored it,” said Reid, who wrote a letter to Comey regarding Russian intervention ahead of the election. “The FBI director didn’t have the decency, the courtesy, to even respond to my letter.”
He said the response he got from a lower-level official “said they were looking into it,” but “they looked into nothing.”
Calling Comey a “partisan,” Reid doubled-down on his assertion that Comey “ignored” intelligence that pointed toward Russia’s involvement in the hacking of emails from members of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign from WikiLeaks.
“It was obvious,” Reid said. “There is information out there, he had it … and he ignored it.”
The effort from WikiLeaks was “all directed to hurt Clinton” and “they certainly didn’t leak any information” regarding Republican organisations and campaigns.
Asked about his past intense criticism of Trump, Reid said he stood by all of his prior statements, asking “what’s wrong” with any of them. But, he said, Trump “doesn’t appear to be as bad as I thought he would be.
“Well, he said he’s going to try and help the Dreamers, he has shut up about the fence, he appears to be somebody who’s trying to not be as crazy as his election,” he said, adding, “He’s still bad, but not as bad as I thought he would be.”
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