Defiant Sanders says campaign was denied fairness in Nevada
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Hispanic Caucus lawmaker won't attend meeting with VP Harris's new aide The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat MORE on Tuesday accused the Nevada Democratic Party of abusing its power to unfairly hurt his campaign, and denied accusations of promoting violence among his supporters.

He blasted his critics within the party who have accused him of promoting violence, calling such accusations “nonsense.”

“Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization,” Sanders said in a statement. 

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“Party Leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence.”

He said he condemns violence and harassment, before adding that shots were fired into his campaign office in Nevada earlier this year.

Sanders said that at the Nevada Democratic convention on Saturday, “the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place."

“If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned,” the Vermont senator added.

The Nevada convention saw violent outbursts over rules that appeared to favor Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low MORE, who came away with more pledged delegates.

The Las Vegas convention had to be shut down Saturday after some Sanders supporters, angry over delegate allocation, resorted to throwing chairs. Some also booed Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerHarry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate majority leader, dies Congress can prevent another Jan. 6 by updating a key elections law First senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid MORE (D-Calif.) while she gave a speech in support of the former first lady.

Sanders supporters were frustrated that Clinton, who won the state’s caucuses in February, was able to pick up additional delegates, despite the fact that they packed the convention.

The state party's chairwoman, Roberta Lange, reported death threats from backers of the Independent senator.

Many Democrats called on Sanders to condemn the outbursts, including Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAfter the loss of three giants of conservation, Biden must pick up the mantle Photos of the Week: Voting rights, former Sen. Harry Reid and snowy owls Black Democrats hammer Manchin for backing filibuster on voting rights MORE (D-Nev.), who endorsed Clinton shortly after she won the Nevada caucuses in February. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Reid and Sanders spoke about the incident.

“He and I had a very long conversation,” Reid told reporters. “I laid out to him what happened in Las Vegas. I wanted to make sure he understands what went on there. The violence and all the other bad things that has happened there.

“He said that he condemns that. I’m confident he does. I’m confident he’ll be saying something about it soon,” he added. “I’m hopeful and very confident that Sen. Sanders will do the right thing.”

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also asked Sanders on Tuesday to condemn the violence.

“We will be reaching out to the leadership of both of our campaigns to ask them to stand with the Democratic Party in denouncing and taking steps to prevent the type of behavior on display over the weekend in Las Vegas,” she said in a statement.

And the White House spoke out against the violence.

“The president on a number of occasions has spoken out against violence and has certainly said a political dispute like this can never be used to justify violence or a threat of violence,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday.

- Updated at 4:03 p.m.