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

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump on Clinton's Sanders comments: 'She's the one that people don't like' 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 - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump on Clinton's Sanders comments: 'She's the one that people don't like' Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders 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 BoxerFormer Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer joins DC lobbying firm Hillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill 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 ReidThe Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial Left presses 2020 Democrats to retake the courts from Trump 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.