Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Five former Obama ambassadors back Buttigieg Both sides were wrong about Mueller report, and none of it will likely matter for 2020 MORE on Thursday cut short an interview after a tense exchange with a reporter about a meeting between his wife and controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“What Joe Arpaio is doing is an outrage,” Sanders told reporter Brahm Resnick during an interview with NBC’s local affiliate in Flagstaff, Ariz.


“My wife went to look at the so-called tent city, which is something that should not exist,” he added, referencing a jail operated by the Maricopa County sheriff that is fashioned from military tents.

"The fact that he crashed her meeting is, to me, very, very wrong, not something he should have done. Thank you very much.”

Sanders then stood up, removed his microphone and walked away, ending his discussion with Resnick at the Twin Arrows Casino on the Navajo Nation.

“Would you accept a spot as vice president?” Resnick asked as the Vermont senator walked off.

“[He’s] the first candidate who’s ever walked away,” Resnick said as it became clear Sanders was finished.

Resnick later said Sanders explained that he had run over his scheduled interview time.

“Sanders said my allotted four minutes were up and so he walked away,” he said.

Sanders' rapid response director Mike Casca tweeted Friday that Sanders ended the interview "after a reporter goes after his wife."

Casca clarified his remarks in a follow-up tweet published later on Friday.

"Correction: this previous tweet is inaccurate, the interview was over time," he said.  "I tweeted without full context, which is always a bad idea."

Jane Sanders visited the tent city jail in Phoenix on Tuesday, engaging in a spontaneous meeting with Arpaio after the sheriff unexpectedly joined her tour.

Bernie Sanders on Thursday blasted Arpaio as “un-American and uncivilized” for surprising his wife during her stop at the infamous facility.

Arpaio, who has endorsed GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE, is notorious for his hard-line stance on illegal immigration and harsh penalties for crime.

Supporters of Sanders rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Ex-FBI official: 'Links and coordination' with Russia happen everyday Ex-FBI agent: Americans should be 'disgusted' by Russian interference in Mueller report MORE have criticized the run-in.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) on Wednesday said it is “a shame” that Sanders's campaign had helped provide Arpaio with a national spotlight.

Clinton campaign spokesman Jesse Lehrich on Friday tweeted about Sanders’s interview walkout, calling it “an interesting strategy.”

“[The] candidate who never takes questions criticizes Bernie for ending an interview after a reporter goes after his wife,” Sanders’s rapid response director Mike Casca responded on Twitter. "OK.”

“How many times has [former] Secretary [of State] Clinton taken questions since she announced?” Casca asked in response.