Trump: Sanders should run as an independent
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Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE says Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: The center strikes back Sanders against infrastructure deal with more gas taxes, electric vehicle fees Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight 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!”

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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 ClintonThe Memo: The center strikes back Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine 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 CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East 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.