Trump claims Democratic primary ‘rigged’ against Sanders after Klobuchar, Buttigieg drop out
President Trump asserted Monday that the Democratic primary is “rigged” against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and speculated that candidates who had dropped out of the race had done so in exchange for positions in a Democratic presidential administration.
“I think it’s rigged against Bernie,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a campaign rally in North Carolina, adding that Sanders could still “pull through” and win the nomination.
“It was rigged against me,” Trump claimed, noting that he won the election in 2016.
Trump also suggested that candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg may have dropped out of the race in exchange for administration positions, offering no evidence of the assertion, but calling it a “quid pro quo” — a nod to the charges he faced during his impeachment.
Trump’s remarks came hours after the news broke that Klobuchar would drop out of the presidential race and that she and Buttigieg — who dropped out on Sunday — would both endorse former Vice President Joe Biden on the eve of Super Tuesday.
The developments add to Biden’s momentum going into the key voting day, just days after he won a decisive victory in South Carolina.
Trump has repeatedly accused the Democrats of rigging the primary against Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist who is viewed as a front-runner for the Democratic nomination after strong showings in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.
Hillary Clinton defeated Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary and went on to lose to Trump in the general election.
Sanders is viewed by those in Trump’s orbit as the weakest candidate who Trump may face.
The president tweeted that the Democrats were “staging a coup against Bernie” shortly before departing the White House on Monday afternoon.
Trump is traveling to Charlotte on Monday for a campaign rally on the eve of Super Tuesday.
He regularly comments on the Democratic race during his campaign appearances — often singling individuals out with nicknames — and is likely to do so on Monday night.