Yeah, well, Bernie didn’t say anything, either.
Former Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) lashed out at his opponent failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for not doing anything about Russian interference despite having the knowledge and also pushed back that he knew Russian bots backed his campaign.
His campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, also told Politico that he has never seen evidence that Russian bots supported Sanders.
Last week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians and 3 Russian entities for meddling in our 2016 presidential election. The indictment stated that these people and entities “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”
Sanders appeared on Vermont edition on Vermont Public Radio on Wednesday, to push back against Hillary and the indictment. He told host Jane Lindholm that “it appeared that that there were lots of strange things happening attacking Hillary Clinton” in April and May 2016.
“I did not know Russian bots were promoting my campaign.”
“The real question to be asked is” why the Clinton campaign didn’t do something.
— Vermont Public Radio (@vprnet) February 21, 2018
Lindholm asked Sanders why his campaign didn’t tell people about the Russians and he deflected the blame to Hillary. From The Washington Free Beacon:
“I would say that the real question to be asked is what was the Clinton campaign—they had more information about this than we did, and at this point, we were working with them,” he responded.
“So did the Clinton campaign say, ‘Don’t talk about this?'” the interviewer asked.
“No, of course not, but who do you think would be raising that issue?” Sanders said.
“I could see a world in which Mrs. Clinton said, ‘It’s the Russians,’ and Sanders supporters say, ‘Oh, that’s baloney,’ but if Sanders says it, they say, ‘OK,'” his interviewer said.
“We knew what we knew when we knew it, and that’s about all that I can say,” Sanders said.
You still should have said something, Bernie. Then again, maybe they thought the interference would work so maybe not say anything? But that’d mean he’d be okay with interference if it helped his campaign, but against it if it didn’t. We all know politicians are hypocrites.
Sanders insisted that his campaign shared information with Hillary’s campaign “about suspected Russian anti-Clinton trolls on a campaign Facebook page.” Sanders had said that someone on his staff “checked it out and he went to the Clinton campaign” to tell them that he thought those trolls were Russian. Weaver admitted that Sanders “had no firsthand knowledge that this had happened” and that he “based his his remark on an article published by NBC’s San Diego affiliate over the weekend about a campaign volunteer who claimed to have conducted his own investigation and brought the findings to the Clinton campaign in September.”
A former Hillary aide denied that meeting ever happened or that anyone from the Sanders campaign notified anyone on Hillary’s campaign about supposed Russian interference.
Then a listener brought up the indictment and wanted to know why Sanders never told his supporters about Russian bots supporting him:
“If he was aware that Russians were trying to promote him and divide Democrats against Mrs. Clinton, why did he not communicate this to his supporters?” the listener asked Sanders.
“This was not supporting me any more than they were supporting groups like Black Lives Matter that are fighting for social justice,” Sanders said.
“I did not know that Russian bots were promoting my campaign,” Sanders added. “Russians bots were not promoting my campaign. What we found out is that in April and May, it appeared that there were lots of strange things happening, attacking Hillary Clinton.”
Weaver backed up his boss to Politico:
Among the evidence the indictment cites is a message from the day after Sanders and Trump won their New Hampshire primaries. “Specialists were instructed to post content that focused on ‘politics in the USA’ and to ‘use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them.),” the document read.
Weaver, who is one of the senator’s closest aides, said repeatedly he wasn’t sure if he should believe the charges.
“The factual underpinning of that in the indictment is what? Zero,” Weaver said. “I have not seen any evidence of support for Bernie Sanders.”
Sanders’ campaign digital director Kenneth Pennington had already told MSNBC “that he knew nothing of Russian support for the campaign.”
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