Sen. Sherrod Brown accused a reporter on Wednesday of practicing "fake journalism" for asking whether Democrats have played any role in using violent, partisan rhetoric in the wake of President Trump's election victory last year.

Brown, D-Ohio, told reporters in a hallway interview that President Trump has chosen to "divide and name call" rather than serve as "the healer in chief."

When asked by the Washington Examiner if Democrats have also played a role in dividing the nation with their heated opposition to Trump and the GOP, Brown called that "a false equivalency" used by editors of newspapers, including the Washington Examiner and the Wall Street Journal.

He said that tactic from those news outlets "would be called, in another era, fake journalism."

Brown justified angry floor speeches by former Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who last year regularly unleashed a barrage of insults aimed at Trump. Among other things, Reid called Trump a "racist," a "spoiled brat" and "human leech who will bleed the country and sit at his golf resort laughing at the money he has made."

Brown suggested Reid's attacks were called for, and argued that Trump "acknowledged sex-grabbing women" during a decade-old tape leaked to the media during his presidential campaign.

Brown said he doesn't not blame Trump directly for the country's current political divide and "of course" both sides bear responsibility. But he said Trump is dividing the country.

"I don't blame the president for this, I don't blame any single political figure for this, but for whatever reason, unleashed in our country is more anti-semitism, more racist talk, more racism," Brown said. "And the president should be the healer in chief. Instead, this president has chosen to divide and name call and that doesn't serve this country. It probably doesn't serve his interest. It certainly doesn't serve his party's interest."