Newly released audio has revealed what Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said to each other during their altercation following Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sanders and Warren have been at odds this week after CNN reported Monday that Sanders told Warren in a private December 2018 meeting he did not believe a woman could win the presidential election.
Sanders, for his part, has vehemently denied the report’s claims.
CNN moderator Abby Phillip brought up the issue Tuesday night.
“Senator Sanders, CNN reported yesterday, and Senator Warren confirmed in a statement, that in 2018, you told her that you did not believe that a woman could win the election,” she said. “Why did you say that?”
“Well, as a matter of fact, I didn’t say it,” he answered.
Phillip then repeated the question to Sanders.
“I do want to be clear here, you’re saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?”
“That is correct,” he answered.
In the moments after the debate ended, some of the candidates greeted each other with handshakes.
Warren shook hands with former Vice President Joe Biden and placed her hand on his arm.
Then, she walked toward Sanders.
Sanders reached out his hand toward Warren, but the Massachusetts senator appeared to refuse to extend her arm.
Warren appeared to then have a somewhat animated exchange with Sanders, though it was hard to tell what the two senators were saying to each other.
But audio released Wednesday night by CNN reveals what they said.
“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” Warren told Sanders.
“What?” Sanders replied.
“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” she said, repeating herself.
Sanders appeared to want to deal with the issue a different time.
“Let’s not do it right now,” he said. “You want to have that discussion, we’ll have that discussion.”
Warren responded: “Anytime.”
But Sanders simply grew more upset.
“You called me a liar, you told me — all right, let’s not do it right now,” he said.
Sanders then dealt with businessman Tom Steyer, who had walked behind the candidates during their exchange and said he just wanted to tell Sanders “hi.”
“Yeah, good. OK,” Sanders said, before walking away.
According to CNN, “The conversation was not captured on the primary audio feed from the candidates’ podiums.” The network said it found “backup recordings” from Sanders and Warren’s microphones and was able to sync up the audio with the footage that aired Tuesday.
In the aftermath of the testy exchange, Sanders’ wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, told The Associated Press the dispute between her husband and Warren was over.
“We remain committed to continuing a progressive movement made up of women and men, black and white, gay [and] straight,” she said. “The message is unity.”
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