Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) blamed Hillary Clinton's election loss to Donald Trump on FBI Director James Comey, calling him a "Republican operative" on Thursday.
Reid made the remarks during an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes after gushing over Comey during the summer, when he said Comey had unquestioned integrity and competence. That was after Comey initially did not recommend charges against Clinton over her use of a private email server at the State Department.
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Democrats turned against Comey, however, when he sent a letter to Congress in late October announcing the discovery of new emails related to Clinton's private server, placing her email scandal front and center in the campaign cycle again.
Hayes asked Reid if Clinton's campaign did not pay enough attention to rural America, which went heavily to Trump and Republicans.
"There's no question in my mind, she would have won this election without any problem if Comey had not been the Republican operative that he is," Reid said.
Hayes said those were "strong words."
"But I believe it. He came out against what the attorney general had recommended, against what common sense dictates," Reid replied. "He is the reason she lost the election. So if you want one reason, that's it."
"Comey, he can be fat and happy in his office there for seven more years after having thrown an election to Donald Trump," he added. "If he feels good about that, that's nice."
Reid accused Comey of violating federal law after he sent his letter to Congress.
For his part, Reid said at one point that Trump would "never be elected president of the United States."