Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville said the Nevada Caucuses are going “very well” for Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin blasts cancel culture, calls gender fluidity 'crime against humanity' Russia breaks daily COVID-19 infections, death record US, allied nations force REvil ransomware group offline: report MORE following the news that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden must keep progressive promises or risk losing midterms Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Study finds Pfizer vaccine almost 91 percent effective for 5 to 11 year olds MORE (I-Vt.) took an early lead in the critical race. 

“Right now, it’s about 1:15 Moscow time. This thing is going very well for Vladimir Putin. I promise you. He’s probably staying up watching this right now. How you doing, Vlad?” Carville joked in an interview with MSNBC on Saturday.

Sanders acknowledged Friday that he had been briefed by U.S. intelligence officials about Russian attempts to interfere with the 2020 presidential elections. The Washington Post reported that Russia is trying to help the Vermont senator’s campaign.

House lawmakers were told by U.S. intelligence officials last week that Russia was also attempting to interfere in the November race to help President Trump’s reelection campaign.

Carville said he does not believe that “Sanders wants Putin to help,” but predicted that Russia was attempting to interfere because the Russian leader “wants Donald Trump to win.” 

“I mean, it’s a straight line. I don’t think the Sanders campaign in any way is collusion or collaboration. I think they don’t like this story, but the story is a fact, and the reason that the story is a fact is Putin is doing everything that he can to help Trump, including trying to get Sanders the Democratic nomination,” Carville said Saturday.

The strategist also called for the Democratic presidential candidates to “quit attacking each other and start talking about where this country is and how do you push it forward under some real choices that Democrats have to make,” in order to defeat the president in the November election.

This is not the first time there's been friction and criticism between Sanders and Carville. The senator called Carville "a political hack" last week after Carville warned against the Democratic Party becoming an "ideological cult" in an interview earlier this month.