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Bernie Responds To News That Russia Is Boosting His Campaign By Promoting Conspiracy Theory

Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) responded to the news that Russia was helping his presidential campaign by suggesting that there w...

Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) responded to the news that Russia was helping his presidential campaign by suggesting that there was a conspiracy plotted against him to sabotage him ahead of the Nevada caucuses this weekend.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that U.S. federal officials had contacted the Sanders campaign and notified them that Russia was attempting to boost his campaign in an effort to meddle with the outcome of the Democratic presidential nomination.
“The classified FBI briefing wasn’t of the type routinely given to presidential campaigns about election security, those people said,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “It was given in reaction to intelligence considered compelling enough that Mr. Sanders needed to be alerted, one of the people said.”
A CNN reporter asked Sanders why he thought the report came out today given Sanders’ claim that he had the briefing a month ago.
“Well, I’ll let you guess,” Sanders responded. “One day before the Nevada caucus. Why do you think it came out?”
“It was The Washington Post – good friends,” Sanders said sarcastically.
Sanders also appeared to tell CNN that he was briefed that other countries were also trying to get involved in his campaign, saying, “We were told that Russia, maybe other countries, are going to get involved in this campaign.”
Bernie Sanders: “Here is the message to Russia: Stay out of American elections. … That is what they did in 2016 and that is the ugliest thing they are doing, is they are trying to cause chaos, they are trying to cause hatred in America” 
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The notion that the Sanders campaign is being targeted by some sort of coordinated media effort with the apparent intent to damage his campaign, of which there is no proof, was quickly challenged online.
Journalist Yashar Ali tweeted: “I thought some of the language Sanders used in the debate around Russia and Russian interference was unusual for him. Now it makes sense…he had been briefed about their attempts.”
Ali’s tweet referenced Sanders’ remarks during the debate about how Russians may be trying to pose as his followers online.
Sanders was not asked about Russia when he brought up the subject, and a review of the NBC transcript showed that it was the only time during the debate that Russia was even brought up.
“And let me say something else about this, not being too paranoid,” Sanders said. “All of us remember 2016, and what we remember is efforts by Russians and others to try to interfere in our election and divide us up. I’m not saying that’s happening, but it would not shock me.”
“I saw some of those tweets regarding the Culinary Workers Union,” Sanders continued. “I have a 30-year 100% pro-union voting record. Do you think I would support, or anybody who supports me, would be attacking union leaders? It’s not thinkable.”
CNN media reporter Nathan McDermott also pushed back on Sanders’ conspiracy theory, writing, “I dunno, if I were a newspaper plotting to do a bombshell story on a candidate, I’d probably do it before the debate and not less than a day before voting began.”

The fact that Sanders voluntarily brought up Russia in the debate likely led to The Washington Post report that the Sanders campaign had been briefed about Russian interference.

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