Trump: Sanders should run as an independent
© Getty Images

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE says Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: Next steps in the Trump impeachment Sanders selling sweatshirts with his famous inauguration pose for charity MORE should run for president as an independent.

“Bernie Sanders has been treated terribly by the Democrats—both with delegates & otherwise,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “He should show them, and run as an Independent!”

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump, the GOP's front-running cancdiate, has long compared himself to Sanders, arguing that both are outsiders treated unfairly by establishment forces. 

The talk of an independent bid by Sanders, while extremely unlikely, harkens back to Trump's previous threats to mount his own independent bid, which would likely seal the election for the Democrats. Trump first raised that possibility last summer in an exclusive interview with The Hill.

The billionaire businessman has long complained about how he's been treated in the race and floated the same rationale for his own hypothetical independent bid.

Sanders, however, has an inherent disadvantage because the vast majority of Democratic superdelegates will likely pledge their support to rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Texas Supreme Court rejects Alex Jones request to toss lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing MORE, making it that much more difficult for the Vermont senator to win the party's nomination. Although Sanders has run a tough challenge against Clinton, she also holds a substantial lead among pledged delegates won through the primary process thus far.

Trump is leading the delegate chase among Republicans, but finds himself facing the prospect of a contested convention with an outcome that is far from certain. The first ballot is seen as his best shot; Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot Hawley, Cruz see approval ratings dip in wake of Capitol riot: poll MORE and John Kasich have found success wooing the loyalties of delegates bound to Trump on the first ballot.

—Ben Kamisar contributed to this report, which was updated at 12:39 p.m.