Harry Reid lambastes 'hateful' and 'vicious' Trump for 'fanning the flames of violence and menace'

Harry Reid went after Donald Trump on the Senate floor Tuesday, calling the presumptive Republican nominee “hateful” and “vicious” after he gave a lengthy speech Monday in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre.

“One day after the worst mass shooting in modern American history … Trump delivered one of the most un-American speeches ever from a major party’s nominee,” the Senate minority leader said. “Trump was hateful. He was vicious. He was Donald Trump — everything that Republicans knew him to be when they made him their party’s nominee.”

During his Monday speech, Trump called for the release of the “complete immigration histories” of anyone in the US tied to terrorism post-9/11. He also returned to advocating for his plan to bar Muslims from immigrating to the US, saying our current screening system doesn’t “permit us to know who we allow into our country.”

“The only reason the killer was in America in the first place is because we allowed his parents to come here,” Trump said. “That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about.”

The gunman in the Orlando shooting was a US citizen born in New York whose parents were from Afghanistan.

“It is incomprehensible that any presidential nominee would foster and promote systemic bigotry, as Trump often does,” Reid said Tuesday. “It is reprehensible and un-American for the nominee of a major party — or any party — to declare millions of Americans guilty until proven innocent, purely by virtue of their religion.”

He added: “These are frightening times, and Trump’s fear and paranoia are making us feel less safe. Trump is fanning the flames of violence and menace. Already, there have been reports of threats and obscenities being yelled at Muslims in Florida. In Chicago and Seattle, mosques have been threatened. Donald Trump’s rhetoric is encouraging this scary behaviour.”

The Nevada Democrat said Trump’s response to the mass shooting — the deadliest in US history — proved “he is a terrible a leader, just as he is a terrible businessman.”

“Trump proved that he is not the person to lead our nation through difficult times, or in fact any time,” Reid said. “Trump failed the most important of tests for a presidential candidate — how to respond in a crisis when our citizens are under attack.”

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