Reid: Trump 'not as bad as I thought he would be'

Reid: Trump 'not as bad as I thought he would be'
© Greg Nash

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWhite House seeks to shield Biden from GOP attacks on crime issue Lobbying world Warner backing 'small carve-out' on filibuster for voting rights MORE says Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE is "not as bad as I thought he would be."

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The Nevada Democrat specifically mentioned the president-elect's decision not to pursue charges against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE, Trump's Democratic opponent in the presidential election, and his relaxed position on undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. 

"I have to say this — he's not as bad as I thought he would be," he said in an interview with NPR Thursday. 

"Obviously he didn't believe in all of the stuff he said — which is a step in the right direction."

Reid said he does not hate Trump and hopes he does well as president. 

"You know, it's not as if Donald Trump and I have been enemies our whole lives — he's done fundraisers for me. When I was elected last time he sent me a letter saying 'you're awesome' — a handwritten note. ... It's not as if I have hate in my soul for Donald Trump," he said. 

"I hope, beyond all, that he does well. It's important to the stability of this great nation we have. And I'm hopeful — I keep using that word, but that's what it is — hopeful that he will lessen his rhetoric and work toward a safer, more productive America."

Reid was a vocal critic of Trump during the campaign, at one point calling him a "human leech" who would bleed the country while sitting at his golf resort "laughing at the money he has made."  

After Trump won the election, Reid issued a sharp rebuke of the businessman, blaming him for emboldening the forces of "hate and bigotry" in the U.S. while calling him a "sexual predator" for his past remarks about women.

Trump has also taken his fair share of shots at Reid, mocking him in September for an exercise accident that left Reid blind in one eye.  

“Harry Reid? I think he should go back and start working out again with his rubber work-out pieces," he said.