Reid warns Democrats not to underestimate Trump

Reid warns Democrats not to underestimate Trump

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum The Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial MORE (D-Nev.) is warning Democrats not to underestimate President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE in 2020.

“I used to think that Donald Trump was not too smart. I certainly don't believe that anymore,” Reid told CNN’s David AxelrodDavid AxelrodCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group Sanders, Warren appear to have tense moment onstage after debate Warren faces online criticism over past big donor fundraisers MORE during an interview on “The Axe Files” aired late Saturday.

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“I don't think he's intellectually a powerhouse, but he is basically a very, very smart man,” he added. “No matter what the subject, any argument he involves himself in, it's on his terms. You're always arguing against him. He's never, never willing to debate an issue on terms that aren’t his.”

When asked what advice he would give to a candidate running against Trump, Reid responded: “Well, what I say initially and I say it right here in your show, anyone that thinks Trump's going to be beaten easily should have another think coming.”

Reid also weighed in on the Ukraine scandal that’s sparked an impeachment inquiry against Trump, saying the president’s actions can’t go “unpunished.”

Reid said the “evidence is very clear” that Trump was withholding aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE and his son.

After Axelrod noted there is “almost zero chance” Trump would be convicted in the upper chamber, Reid also  said he is disappointed with what the Senate has become.

“I'm also tremendously disappointed in what the Republican senators have not become. They have not become the Mark Hatfields of the world, the John Chafees, the John Heinze who are Republican senators who did what they thought was the right thing to do,” he said.

“And we have these Republicans who are afraid to speak out against things that he does that are absolutely wrong and they know they're wrong. The only person we've gotten to say anything is Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyKaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Romney: 'It's very likely I'll be in favor of witnesses' in Trump impeachment trial MORE and [Ben] Sasse who said something out of Nebraska. Other than that, they don't say anything.”

--This report was updated at 1:31 p.m.