Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) sharply criticized Democratic senatorial leader Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.) late Friday, calling the longtime Democratic leader "an absolute embarrassment to the Senate as an institution, our Democratic party, and the nation."
Manchin's comments came in response to Reid releasing a statement on Friday that completely denounced President-elect Donald Trump. In part, Reid labeled Trump a "sexual predator" that "lost the popular vote."
Machin, who is one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, believes Reid's outright opposition to the will of the people is a disgrace — and that it's only helping to further divide the nation.
"I want to be very clear, he does not speak for me," Manchin said of Reid, according to a statement. "As difficult as it is for anyone to lose an election, the American people have spoken and Donald Trump is our President-elect. Senator Reid’s words needlessly feed the very divisiveness that is tearing this country apart."
"We are Americans first, not Democrats or Republicans first," he added. "Unfortunately, there are some who forget that at times like these it is wrong to put party and politics above our country."
Several news publications on Election Day reported that Manchin would begin to caucus with the Republicans in the Senate, but he later denied the reports.
Manchin is up for re-election in 2018.