Harry Reid talks Islam, gun background checks and Trump impeachment inquiry in Las Vegas

Harry Reid appears in Las Vegas on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.
Harry Reid appears in Las Vegas on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.(Gabriel Stutzky | FOX5)
Updated: Sep. 26, 2019 at 3:57 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Former Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid spoke at UNLV Thursday ahead of an evening discussion on Islam. Amid the brief media gathering, Reid advanced his religion panel, broached the subject of 1 October’s second anniversary and made no bones about the Trump impeachment inquiry.


Reid partnered with UNLV’s Boyd School of Law to present an “Islam in America” panel. Scholars from around the country descended for a conversation about the religion and culture of Islam.

“This event that we’ve worked on for several months is long overdue,” Reid said. “It’s (Islam) something we need to better understand.”

Reid expressed a need for the nation to be vigilant in fighting “hate fermented” toward Muslims in the U.S.

“Twenty-five-percent of all Muslims in America are converts,” Reid said. “People think that all 3.5 million are immigrants, but that’s not the case.”

The panel, moderated by NPR’s Leila Fadel, was created to examine social justice, foreign policy and the rise of anti-Muslim bigotry in the country, according to UNLV. Reid hopes the conversation will enlighten the masses.


“It’s hard to comprehend,” Reid said with a pause.

“If 90-percent of American people, that’s Democrats, Republicans, Independents ... doesn’t matter your religion, the color of your skin,” Reid said. “Ninety-percent of Americans believe there should be background checks for people that are crazy, for people that are criminals. Why can’t we get that done? I think it’s outrageous.”

On Oct. 1, 2017, 58 people were killed at the Route 91 country music festival. Since then, many have pushed for increased legislation surrounding firearms and the background checks involved in acquiring the weapons.

On Tuesday, two years will have passed since that night, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

“We hold a record we don’t want to hold,” Reid said. “And we hope it’s never broken.”


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced impeachment inquiry proceedings this week into the Donald Trump presidency, a move signifying escalated tension between House Democrats and the POTUS.

“I have the highest respect for Speaker,” Reid said. “She and I served together when I was Leader. This is not something she rushed into.”

Reid predicted Pelosi will move cautiously with the proceedings, having beared witness to the Clinton impeachment in the late 90s.

“I think it speaks well of her that she believes enough is enough, and there has to be an inquiry now and she initiated that.”

Harry Reid retired in 2017 after 30 years as a career politician.