Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersGloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities 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 TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE, is notorious for his hard-line stance on illegal immigration and harsh penalties for crime.

Supporters of Sanders rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTop Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP Longtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick How Obama just endorsed Trump 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.