December 12, 2016
Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid declared Monday that FBI Director James Comey “singlehandedly” handed the presidential election to President-elect Trump after announcing days before the vote that the FBI was looking into new emails related to its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices.
Reid at first resisted the idea that Comey by himself tipped the election, but then said that does appear to be the case.
“I’ll say singlehandedly, had he not written that letter a week or so before the election, she would have won and we would have picked up two more Senate seats,” he told CNN.
“Comey helped Trump significantly,” Reid explained. “A week before the election, he came out with this, ‘oh, we’ve found some more emails,’ and as a result of that we lost Senate seats, and I think we lost the presidency.”
Reid’s assessment is in line with that of statistician Nate Silver, who said over the weekend that Clinton would have won if Comey had not told Congress he was extending the email probe.
Reid also argued the FBI didn’t look into anything about possible hacking by Russia into the Democratic National Committee and the email of Clinton operatives, including John Podesta, because FBI Director James Comey is a “partisan.” Reid said he sent Comey a letter on this during the year, but said it was ignored.
“I thought it was important to put the FBI on notice, do something about it. I wrote in August and the FBI director didn’t have the decency, the courtesy to even respond to my letter,” Reid said. Instead, Reid got a reply from someone in the office of Governmental Affairs, which said they were looking into it.
“They looked into nothing,” Reid bemoaned. “It’s obvious [Comey] was a partisan in all this … It’s obvious. There’s information out there. He had it, I’m confident, and he ignored it.”
Reid, who is leaving the senate in January at the end of his term, said that he believes the Russians were trying to steer the election in Trump’s direction.
“My opinion is yes,” Reid said. “We got no basis in fact from the FBI. They ignored it. Now we’re hearing… all this stuff from the intelligence agencies. They clearly see it.”