An inspector general called them courageous, but Sen. Harry Reid said Friday that the government whistleblowers who accused him of using political pressure to try to win special treatment for a Las Vegas casino were “a bunch of whiners.”

Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat who announced he will retire at the end of this Congress after 30 years in the Senate, said it’s his job to press the federal government to speed up decisions on his constituents’ needs, and said that’s what he was doing when he made the appeal to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to act on the casino’s request to expedite processing of investors’ visas.

“If I had to do over again, I would do it again. If I did it over again, I’d probably be stronger than I was,” he told KNPR radio in an interview just after he announced his impending retirement.

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