Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was left flabbergasted by the prospect of giving Donald Trump classified briefings on the campaign trail after the nominee’s comments about Russian hackers.
“How would the CIA and the other intelligence agencies brief this guy? How could they do that? I would suggest to the intelligence agencies, if you’re forced to brief this guy, don’t tell him anything, just fake it, because this man is dangerous,” Reid said in a Wednesday interview with The Huffington Post. “Fake it, pretend you’re doing a briefing, but you can’t give the guy any information.”
In a press conference earlier the same day, Trump suggested that hackers had breached Clinton’s personal email server and urged the Russian government to release the emails, a proposal which Reid condemned in no uncertain terms. “What Trump is talking about is much worse than Watergate,” Reid said. “Absolutely.”
Reid went on to emphasize the connection between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling the GOP nominee “part of a foreign power” after he failed to answer questions about whether Russian business entities are invested in him or his projects. “We knew he liked Putin before this,” Reid said, “but this is quite ridiculous.”
Trump aides and allies scrambled to discount the nominee’s comments as a “joke” or otherwise explain them. A spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) responded by saying that Putin should “stay out” of the election. On the other side of the aisle, former CIA director and Defense secretary Leon Panetta said that Trump’s remarks had “already represented a threat to our national security.”