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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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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