Reid to media: Call Trump a racist
© Victoria Sarno Jordan
"The media has a bunch of words to describe his actions. ...Yet there's always one word that many of the press conspicuously avoid: 'racist.' They never label Trump a racist, but he is a racist," Reid said from the Senate floor hours before the first presidential debate between the businessman and Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff MORE
The outgoing Senate Democratic leader added that Trump says "racist things" and doesn't believe they are wrong. He ripped Trump for backing the false "birther" theory that President Obama was not born in the United States.
"Why do reporters and pundits abstain from calling Trump what he is, a racist? His bigotry has been on display since the early days of his business career," he said. "Trump [also] led the so-called birther movement to delegitimize our first African-American president." 
Reid also pointed to a Washington Post article from earlier this year on a federal investigation into whether Trump Management discriminated against minorities in housing applications, violating the Fair Housing Act, during the 1970s. 
Reid — who has hit Trump from the Senate floor for months — has stepped up his attacks since the GOP presidential nominee alluded earlier this month to serious injuries the minority leader received in an exercising accident. 
"It's time for Republicans to stop closing their eyes to Donald Trump's racism, and it's time for reporters and journalists to be honest with the American people," Reid added. "They owe America the truth."