In a surprising move, President Donald Trump appeared to come to the defense of Sen. Bernie Sanders after the Democratic presidential candidate was blasted by the party’s 2016 nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In a recent interview with Lacey Rose of The Hollywood Reporter, Clinton doubled down on critical remarks she made about Sanders in “Hillary,” her upcoming Hulu documentary on the 2016 election.
“In the doc,” Rose said, “you’re brutally honest on Sanders: ‘He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.’ That assessment still hold?”
“Yes, it does,” Clinton responded.
Those comments didn’t appear to sit well with Trump when he was asked about his 2016 opponent in an interview Wednesday with Fox Business journalist Maria Bartiromo.
“When Hillary says nobody likes him, nobody likes her. That’s why she lost, I mean, nobody liked her,” the president said.
Trump went on to explain that Clinton was heavily favored to defeat him in 2016.
“She had every advantage,” the president said. “She had this big machine behind her. She had [former President Barack] Obama, she had everybody behind her. And it wasn’t even close.”
“She’s the one that people don’t like,” he said. “If I had my choice in terms of personality, I might take him over her. But I probably would take neither.”
Trump also acknowledged that Sanders is rising significantly in the polls — from 15.4 percent Dec. 7 to 22.7 percent now in the RealClearPolitics average — but indicated Democratic Party officials are again unfairly undermining the Vermont senator’s campaign.
“They’re really trying to take it away from him again,” Trump said in reference to the 2016 primary, when the Democratic National Committee stacked the deck against Sanders.
Clinton and Sanders were openly critical of each other during that race.
As Fox Business noted, Sanders accused Clinton of being “a proponent of billionaires and Wall Street.”
Meanwhile, Clinton told Politico in a 2016 interview that she was “not even sure” Sanders is a Democrat.
“I know that Senator Sanders spends a lot of time attacking my husband [former President Bill Clinton], attacking President Obama,” she said. “I rarely hear him say anything negative about George W. Bush, who I think wrecked our economy.”
After all of their disagreements through the primary, Sanders did eventually endorse Clinton in July 2016.
The New York Post reported that Clinton said she believes Sanders hurt her campaign because of his delayed endorsement.
On Tuesday, Clinton was asked in The Hollywood Reporter interview if she would endorse Sanders should he become the Democratic nominee.
“I’m not going there yet. We’re still in a very vigorous primary season,” Clinton said.
Once the interview was released, Clinton began receiving backlash from several Democrats over her comments, including 2020 presidential candidates Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer, according to Fox Business.
“For her to come back and you know say that nobody likes Bernie does not seem like a very helpful message,” @AndrewYang said tonight re: Clinton’s comments about Sanders earlier today. pic.twitter.com/jWbCv17SmX
— Adam Brewster (@adam_brew) January 22, 2020
Clinton defended her comments after the negative feedback.
“I thought everyone wanted my authentic, unvarnished views!” she said Tuesday on Twitter.
I thought everyone wanted my authentic, unvarnished views!
But to be serious, the number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump, and, as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 22, 2020
“But to be serious, the number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump, and, as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee,” Clinton said.
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