I Present to You: Bernie Sanders

Via Ryan Adams, I saw last night that Bernie Sanders did an interview on MSNBC with Ari Melber, during which Melber asked him if he would do things differently during the 2016 Democratic primary, knowing what we know now about Russian hacking and their attempts to disrupt the democratic process.

First Sanders was evasive, and then he was very blunt indeed: "Of course we knew that they were trying to cause divisiveness within the Democratic Party. That's no great secret."

Yep. That's just Bernie Sanders flatly admitting that his campaign knew the Russians were trying to influence the Democratic primary (against Hillary Clinton). Note that means he didn't bother to alert his supporters to the fact that they were being used as agents in Russia's disinformation campaign — and why would he, since he chose to leverage it to his advantage.

At 4:00 in the video, Melber says he wants to "turn to Russia, the hacks, 2016...but look at it on the Democratic primary side." He brings up the DNC hack and notes that emails from that hack were used to call for then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz's resignation, and that Sanders was one of the people who called for her resignation based on those hacked emails. Melber asks: "When you look back at that, which happened after the leaks, she did ultimately get ousted right before the convention — what we didn't fully know then that is so understood now is that those were partly operations of Russia, according to U.S. intelligence. Did you, in a way, benefit from that, and would you do it differently then, knowing what we know now?"

Sanders replies, "Well, knowing what we know now, you know, doesn't help me figure out what I would've done back then." He then goes into a long (and entirely correct) monologue about how Russian hacking is "unacceptable" and is intended to destabilize our democracy, and that Russia must "pay a price for that. That cannot be allowed to continue."

At 5:35, Melber tries again: "But at the time, I mean, it does look different in hindsight. Did you know then that this might have been part of their design — was to leak these emails precisely so there would be more riffs in the Democratic Party?"

Sanders replies, "What we knew is — well, of course we knew that. And of course we knew that they were trying to cause divisiveness within the Democratic Party. That's no great secret."

At that point, Melber moves on to the next subject.

There is nothing I can say that I haven't already said dozens of times before about this guy. I strongly suggest the Democratic Party immediately replace him as chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee and quit pretending that Sanders' behavior is anything but a malignancy within the party that needs to be removed.

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