Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersMichael Moore touts Ellison for DNC chair: ‘We need fresh blood’ Tommy Chong: Trump pot crackdown 'will be defeated in court' DNC chair campaigns scramble ahead of tight vote MORE late Thursday blasted controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, accusing him of engaging in "un-American and uncivilized" behavior after a meeting between Arpaio and Sanders's wife.

Speaking at a rally in Arizona ahead of the state's primary next Tuesday, the senator referred to a trip by Jane Sanders earlier this week to visit the infamous "tent city" jail operated by the Maricopa County sheriff.
 
Jane Sanders said that Arpaio showed up unexpectedly once learning of her plans to visit the site. Arpaio quickly sought to offer her a "personal tour," and Sanders said she asked about racial profiling and other issues.
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Bernie Sanders said Arpaio, who is known for his hard-line stance on illegal immigration and has endorsed Republican candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpA very big deal to solve a very big problem Law professors file misconduct complaint against Conway: report State Dept. memo — on dangers of leaks — leaks to media MORE for president, "ambushed" his wife, according to The New York Times
 
“She asked him about racial profiling, and he didn’t have an answer,” Sanders said. “She asked him about conditions in Tent City and other abuses that he has perpetuated, and he didn’t have an answer. You know what, he cannot have an answer, because what he is doing is un-American and uncivilized.”
 
“It’s easy for bullies like Sheriff Arpaio to pick on people who have no power, but if I’m elected president, the president of the United States does have the power,” he added later. “Watch out, Joe!”
 
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), a pro-immigration reform Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonMichael Moore touts Ellison for DNC chair: ‘We need fresh blood’ Conquering Trump returns to conservative summit How the candidates for DNC chair stack up ahead of Saturday's vote MORE backer, on Wednesday criticized the Sanders team for the meeting.

"Joe Arpaio doesn't deserve a fair hearing. He is wrong on nearly everything: his immigration policies, his indefinite detention and practices that violate human rights, his tearing families apart, his support of the demagogue Donald Trump. All Joe Arpaio wants is the spotlight — and it's a shame the Sanders campaign helped give it to him,” Gutiérrez said.