Harvard's Laurence Tribe calls Bernie Sanders a 'phony'
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Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe on Monday took a swipe at 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (I-Vt.), calling him a “phony.”

Tribe tweeted that he was making his assertion “based on watching [Sanders] for decades,” while also saying he did not think the Independent senator is “a monster” like he believes President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE to be.


“I’d prefer him massively over Trump. But I’d prefer a cardboard box over Trump,” Tribe added.



Tribe did not give details about why he is accusing Sanders of being a "phony." He did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.

The law professor, who has been highly critical of Trump, faced some criticism from leftist voices over the remarks.

For example, The Intercept reporter Lee Fang resurfaced a report that Tribe was hired by Peabody Energy Corp., the nation’s biggest coal company, to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.



Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, is seen as a top 2020 Democratic contender, but has taken flak for his progressive views, while others have taken shots at him for his more conservative voting record on some issues like gun rights. 

Some establishment Democrats also feel lingering wounds from the 2016 Democratic primary, when Sanders refused to concede against former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE until late in the process.

Sanders's decision to remain an Independent has also stirred debate, being criticized privately by some Democrats. But the decision has also earned him praise from some progressives who say they don't trust party leadership after the 2016 battle.