Harry Reid Renounces Past Support to End Birthright Citizenship While Blasting Trump

“He can tweet whatever he wants while he sits around watching TV, but he is profoundly wrong.”

Tom Williams/ZUMA

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On Wednesday, after President Donald Trump picked up on 25-year-old remarks from then-Sen. Harry Reid supporting an to end birthright citizenship, the former Democratic majority leader, who is undergoing cancer treatment, issued a withering statement blasting Trump and his anti-immigrant policies. Reid noted that his previous call to change the 14th Amendment had been “a mistake.”

“In 1993, around the time Donald Trump was gobbling up tax-free inheritance money from his wealthy father and driving several companies into bankruptcy, I made a mistake,” Reid said, alluding to Trump’s family history of engaging in possibly criminal tax schemes. “After I proposed that awful bill, my wife Landra immediately sat me down and said, ‘Harry, what are you doing, don’t you know that my father is an immigrant?’ She set me straight.”

“Immigrants are the lifeblood of our nation,” the statement continued. “They are our power and our strength. This president wants to destroy not build, to stoke hatred instead of unify. He can tweet whatever he wants while he sits around watching TV, but he is profoundly wrong.”

Shortly after Reid’s statement was released, Trump tweeted a 1993 video of Reid arguing that “no sane country” would offer birthright citizenship. The issue has been highlighted amid Trump’s anti-immigrant push ahead of the midterm elections, after Axios released a clip of the president discussing supposed plans to use an executive order to end birthright citizenship.

Most legal scholars agree such a move by a president would be unconstitutional.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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