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Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report

Dozens of former staffers from Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign were reportedly invited to a Zoom video call Wednesday to celebrate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary, BuzzFeed News reported. 

"Invitation: Bye, bye Bernard (HFA celebration toast)," the email to the former Clinton staffers read Wednesday, less than an hour after Sanders told supporters he was ending his campaign, according to screenshots provided by two people to the outlet.

"He's finally gone (again!). Join for a celebratory toast if you can! And yes, you can loop," the message continued for the event that was set for 4 p.m.

Later Wednesday, the name of the call was changed to "HFA end of primary celebration toast," using the acronym for "Hillary for America." By 3:30 p.m., the event had been canceled, according to BuzzFeed News. 

The invitation was shared among a fraction of the campaign team, which included thousands of people by the end of the 2016 campaign. It wasn't clear who created the invitation. 

According to screenshots of the invitation, the invited group included staffers who went on to work for many 2020 Democratic candidates, including former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Some of the staffers also worked on the campaigns of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) and businessmen Andrew Yang and Michael Bloomberg.

Clinton provided no comment on Sanders's exit from the race to BuzzFeed News. 

Clinton called out Sanders earlier this year in a Hulu documentary about her, saying, "He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him. Nobody wants to work with him. He got nothing done. He was a career politician. It's all just baloney, and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it."

Sanders responded to the criticism, telling CBS News in January, "I am sorry for what Secretary Clinton had to say. I know she said that nobody likes me, right? I mean, this is not the kind of rhetoric that we need right now when we are trying to bring the Democratic Party together to defeat the most dangerous president in American history."

Sanders suspended his presidential bid Wednesday, telling supporters in a livestreamed address, "I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth. And that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden and the path to victory is virtually impossible."

"I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour," Sanders added.

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