Senate

Reid grills McConnell over Trump’s judge comments

Greg Nash

Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wasted little time after the Senate returned from a weeklong break before ripping into Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday for supporting Donald Trump. 
 
“I was especially disappointed to see that our senior senator from Kentucky personally led this pro-Trump propaganda tour,” Reid said from the Senate floor. “He spent last week as Donald Trump’s head cheerleader.” 
 
{mosads}McConnell repeatedly called on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee last week to soften his rhetoric as the senator promoted his new book, “The Long Game.” McConnell has also denounced Trump for saying a district judge’s ethnicity makes him biased, but he stopped short of calling the remark racist. 
 
Reid blasted McConnell’s comments, saying they show he is “the poster boy for the Republicans’ spinelessness” that allowed Trump to become the GOP’s standard-bearer. 
 
“Sen. McConnell repeatedly refused to say Donald Trump’s attacks on the judge’s ethnicity would be racist. It is precisely the kind of failure that gave rise to Donald Trump in the first place,” he added. 
 
Trump said last week that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has “an absolute conflict” in presiding over fraud lawsuits against Trump University because of his “Mexican heritage.” 
 
Trump has been a tough critic of illegal immigration and vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” he told The Wall Street Journal about Curiel.
 
Trump’s remarks have drawn backlash from Democrats and a growing number of Republicans, who are trying to put space between themselves and the brash businessman.
 
But Reid and Democrats have pledged to link vulnerable GOP incumbents to every controversial comment from Trump as they seek to take back the Senate majority. 
 
Reid added Monday that McConnell should say whether he agrees with Trump on Curiel, whether he believes Trump should be allowed to make Supreme Court appointments, and whether it was OK for Trump to call women “dogs” and “pigs.” 
 
“The Republican leader has so fully embraced Donald Trump that we’re all unclear as to where Trump’s platform ends and the Senate Republicans begin,” Reid said. “The nation has a right to know how far Senate Republicans’ support of Donald Trump extends, and that starts with the Republican leader.” 
 
Republicans are defending 24 seats in November, with several in states won by President Obama.
 
Democrats need to net four seats in November to win back Senate control if they also retain the White House, or five seats otherwise.
Tags Donald Trump Harry Reid Mitch McConnell

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