Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the Senate floor this week to attack Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon as a “a champion of white supremacists,” recycling false accusations against him and demanding that President-elect Donald J. Trump rescind Bannon’s Sunday appointment as Chief Strategist and Special Counselor in the new administration.
(Bannon remains on a leave of absence from Breitbart after joining the Trump campaign as CEO in August.)
Reid has a long history of making false accusations from the floor of the Senate, using the parliamentary privilege he enjoys to slander political opponents. In 2012, then-Majority Leader Reid infamously attacked Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney from the floor of the Senate, claiming that he had paid no taxes for ten years, and citing an unnamed source. “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,” Reid claimed.
Reid never revealed his source or proved his allegation, which turned out to be false, outside of the Senate. When CNN’s Dana Bash interviewed Reid in 2015 to discuss his plans for his forthcoming retirement, he admitted having lied, but said he had no regrets. “So no regrets, not about Mitt Romney about the Koch brothers. Some people have even called it McCarthyite,” Bash said.
Reid responded: “Well, they can call it whatever they want. Um…Romney didn’t win, did he?”