Ex-volunteer says Sanders taking credit for him reporting Russian troll activity

Ex-volunteer says Sanders taking credit for him reporting Russian troll activity
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A former volunteer for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Buttigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign says he was the one who sounded the alarm to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' The problem with Trump's Middle East peace plan Trump's Intel moves spark Democratic fury MORE's camp about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The volunteer, John Mattes, told Politico that he doesn't understand why Sanders is trying to take all the credit for his effort to warn about the interference.

“He could have called me,” Mattes told the newspaper. “He maybe doesn’t have my phone number.”


Sanders recently said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that one of his staffers went to the Clinton campaign to warn them about the Russian efforts. On a Vermont Public Radio interview Wednesday, Sanders said that “a guy who was on my staff” reached out to the Clinton campaign to try to pass on information about Russian meddling.

An unnamed aide said in a statement this week that Sanders "was using the word 'campaign' expansively to include not only the formal, institutional campaign, but also the broader network of volunteers and supporters of Bernie 2016 across the country."

According to Sanders's former campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, the senator did not verify what he read and only knows what was reported.

Sanders spokeswoman Arianna Jones told Politico that Sanders referred to Mattes as being part of his campaign because the senator considers all the people who volunteered for him as “part of his campaign.” She did acknowledge that Sanders misspoke when he said Mattes was part of his staff.

Mattes said he noticed comments on pro-Sanders pages after the primary ended from suspicious Facebook pages. He then reached out to a researcher at the pro-Clinton American Bridge PAC run by David Brock, thinking he was effectively reaching out to her campaign.

“David Brock was all I knew of the campaign,” Mattes told Politico. “No one at American Bridge said, ‘Call up Hillary, call up John Podesta or anybody.’ ... If they weren’t sharing it with Hillary, that is their responsibility.”

Sanders said during his interview Wednesday that Clinton should have spoken up about Russian interference during the election. He later said that no candidate, including Clinton, should face foreign interference during an election after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's team indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups on charges related to election meddling.