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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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