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 SandersWarren to protest with striking Chicago teachers Sanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Democratic strategist: Sanders seeking distance from Warren could 'backfire' 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 TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails 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 ClintonSanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Saagar Enjeti: Clinton remarks on Gabbard 'shows just how deep the rot in our system goes' 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.