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July 17, 2019

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Harry Reid: Trump isn’t a good president, but ‘I have always liked him’

Reid Washington

Erin Schaff / The New York Times

Harry Reid, the former Senate Democratic leader from Nevada, pays a visit March 21, 2018, to Capitol Hill in Washington.

In the Las Vegas office of former Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada hangs a framed letter. It is dated Nov. 8, 2010, days after Reid had secured an election victory over Republican challenger Sharron Angle.

It marked Reid’s final election fight. The former Senate majority leader would retire in 2017 after his term expired.

The letter read: “Dear Harry: Congratulations. You are amazing. With best wishes, Donald J. Trump”

Reid and President Trump go way back, Reid told "Nevada Newsmakers" host Sam Shad.

“He did fundraisers in his home for me in the days he was a Democrat, or at least we thought he was,” Reid said of Trump, who won the presidency as a Republican. “I’ve been to his home a number of times.”

“I don’t think he has been a very good president, but I have always liked him,” Reid said. “He is a very personable man.”

One of Reid’s biggest concerns about Trump is his lack of concern for the mushrooming national debt, which is now teetering at $23 trillion.

“We have a president who seems not to care about the debt,” Reid said. “What we have going on is not sustainable.”

Reid said he’s amazed at how the Republican Party’s view of the debt has changed since he began his career in politics.

“I hate to keep saying this, but it is true. When I was first elected to the House of Representatives and to the Senate and for several years after I was elected to the Senate, the No. 1 issue of the Republican Party was to lower the debt,” Reid said.

“But anymore, Republicans don’t seem to give a damn about what the debt is. And, frankly, I don’t hear the Democrats raising much hell about it either, and I think that’s a mistake,” he said.

Reid said the government must raise taxes for the rich.

“We have to make sure that people who can afford it, pay more taxes,” he said. “I know a few millionaires. I know a few billionaires. And frankly, I don’t think any of them that I know would mind paying some more taxes. It is a myth that they don’t want to pay more taxes.”