During a Nevada Public Radio interview, Reid was asked about something he said during the 2012 presidential campaign… He has no regrets
During an explosive interview in July 2012, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told the Huffington Post that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney “didn’t pay his taxes for 10 years” – an explosive and ultimately unsubstantiated claim.
Shocking many, Reid repeated the lie on the floor of the United States Senate just days later:
“As we know, he has refused to release his tax returns. If a person coming before this body wanted to be a Cabinet officer, he couldn’t be if he had the same refusal Mitt Romney does about tax returns. So the word is out that he has not paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove he has paid taxes because he has not.”
Politifact blasted the remarks as “Pants on Fire,” their strongest designation for bald-faced lies.
But on Wednesday, Reid appeared on Nevada Public Radio’s KNRP and was asked by a caller, Ryan, about the 2012 Romney lie and whether he felt any responsibility for paving the way for the “fake news” phenomenon of 2016. Astonishingly, Reid denied that he told a “brazen lie” to begin with (emphasis ours):
First of all Ryan, there were no brazen lies what I said was the truth. Mitt Romney has refused and still refuses to show us his tax returns. He gave us the main part of two tax returns. This is when he is running for president. That is not a true sign of what he had done.
The guess the new plan we have to look at is Donald Trump, who shows us nothing. Prior to Trump it was standard procedure going back many, many decades that presidential candidates would give us 10 years of tax returns. Mitt Romney has never done that.
So, there was no brazen lies. I did what was necessary. He fought even giving those two years that were meaningless because he was already running for president and all of his financial dealings where he became an extremely wealthy man. We were unable to see any of that. You can brand it anyway you like but it was no brazen lies, it was the truth.
Reid’s fabrication was the kind of intentional deceit that was so significant that it will likely play a role in how the senator is ultimately judged in history books. His present-day defense of an indefensible lie only further maligns his already controversial career.
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