Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Pelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill top line higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign told reporters during a Tuesday event in Baltimore not to ask questions about the terror threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Don’t ask about ISIS today,” Sanders spokeswoman Symone Sanders said, according to CNN, ahead of a press conference after the Democratic candidate met with community leaders in the neighborhood where the death of Freddie Bray sparked widespread protests.
After reporters asked about the topic anyway, Symone Sanders, who is of no relation the presidential candidate, tweeted that she had wanted to be sure that the event’s focus wasn’t drowned out by questions on terror.
“Pastors wanted to make sure the topic of the day did not get lost. I asked press to stay on topic at a presser & they troll me,” she tweeted.
Bernie Sanders, who has faced criticism that his campaign doesn’t focus enough on foreign policy, defended the call to not take questions on ISIS.
“Of course I will talk about ISIS, but today what we are talking about is a community in which half of the people don't have jobs,” he told reporters, according to CNN.
“You want to ask me about ISIS? We will talk about ISIS. But what I said, and let me repeat, you can agree with me or not, what I have said is that obviously ISIS and terrorism are a huge national issue that we have got to address, but so is poverty, so is unemployment, so is education, so is healthcare, so is the need to protect working families. And I will continue to talk about those issues."
The comments came after Bernie Sanders took a walking tour of Gray’s neighborhood along with a group of clergy from the area. He also met with community leaders during a roundtable to discuss police militarization, mass incarceration and economic policy.