Trump Made Telling Remark About Bernie

The president says he's glad Hillary Clinton didn't pick Sanders as a running mate
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2020 4:15 PM CST
In Private Recording, Trump Talks Bernie
In this Nov. 3, 2016 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., appear at a rally at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, NC.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Hillary Clinton isn't exactly bursting with Bernie love—and for President Trump, that could be a bonus. In a recording of a private 2018 dinner, Trump says Clinton might have been harder to beat in 2016 if she had chosen Bernie Sanders as her running mate, Newsweek reports. "Had she picked Bernie Sanders it would've been tougher," says Trump. "He's the only one I didn't want her to pick." Heavy delves deeper into the recording, which includes smatterings of table talk: "But I think Bernie, because all of those people that hated her so much, who voted for me, you know I got 20% of Bernie votes … because of trade. Because he's a big trade guy … He basically says we're getting screwed on trade and he's right."

"I'm worse than he is," Trump goes on. "But we can do something about it … I don't know, he could have, I don't know." Saying he didn't want Clinton to choose Sanders, Trump considers the counter-argument: "Now then you say, people say, 'No it would have been easier because then, her sort of establishment normal Democrats would have come to me.' … She may have lost a lot of votes too." (Hear it here and start at 54:00, though Trump comes in closer to 55:00). The recording—which was released by lawyers for Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas—looks like it was made secretly on a cellphone. Parnas' attorney says it was made by Parnas associate Igor Fruman. (The biggest news from the recording involves ex-US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.)

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