Bernie Sanders: We Warned Clinton About Russians

He says his supporters were targeted by bot campaign
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2018 5:10 AM CST
Sanders Says Russians Targeted His Supporters
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asks a question of OMB Director Mick Mulvaney as he testifies before the Senate Budget Committee on Feb. 13, 2018.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sen. Bernie Sanders says that in some ways, Robert Mueller's report on Russian election meddling isn't news to him—because he knew before the 2016 election that his supporters were being targeted by people seeking to "sow division within the American people." Sanders tells the Des Moines Register that aides noticed a rise in "horrific and ugly things" online in September 2016, after he'd already started campaigning across the country for Hillary Clinton. "In my case, it was to tell Bernie supporters that Hillary Clinton is a criminal, that Hillary Clinton is crazy, that Hillary Clinton is sick—terrible, terrible ugly stuff—and to have Bernie Sanders supporters either vote for Trump or Jill Stein or not vote at all," he says.

In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, Sanders said an aide went to the Clinton campaign after noticing hundreds of new, anti-Clinton posters on pro-Sanders social media accounts and said, "I think these guys are Russians." The Clinton campaign, however, "had more information about this than we did," said Sanders, denying that the Russian bots had helped his campaign. "They were attacking Hillary Clinton's campaign and using my supporters against Hillary Clinton," he said. Politico reports that Sanders issued a statement Wednesday night stressing that the Russian activity during the 2016 election cycle is an "outrage" that deserves "unconditional condemnation" whether it involves his campaign or those of Clinton and Trump. (More Bernie Sanders stories.)

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