Bernie Sanders fundraising off Trump: ‘He’s scared. And he should be’

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden MORE (I-Vt.), who launched his 2020 presidential campaign this week, is fundraising off of attacks on him from President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE's team.

“Trump tweeted, emailed, and text-messaged his supporters—terrified of our Day 1 fundraising and sign-up numbers. He’s scared. And he should be,” Sanders tweeted Thursday morning, adding a link for people to send donations.

“The bad news is, we have a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction. The good news is, ours is the movement that will defeat him,” Sanders’s campaign added in an email to supporters that also echoed the tweet’s call for donations.

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The messages are just the latest salvo as Trump and Sanders begin aggressively campaigning off each other.

It started Tuesday morning, when the Sanders campaign announced it had raised $6 million — powered by small donations averaging $27, from donors in all 50 states — in the first 24 hours since its launch. The haul set a new record for first-day fundraising among 2020 contenders, beating Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Harris leads California Democrats in condemning HUD immigrant housing policy Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution MORE’s (D-Calif.) total of $1.5 million.

The Trump campaign then sent a text and email to supporters Wednesday asking for donations, specifically citing Sanders’s announcement.

“Socialist Bernie Sanders raised $6 MILLION in 24 HOURS. Now I’m calling on you to CRUSH that number,” Trump's campaign texted recipients, saying that any donation would be tripled. 

Sanders’s tweet and email Thursday morning were in direct response to Trump’s Wednesday messages.

Though Sanders this week entered a crowded Democratic primary pack that is already fielding a double-digit number of candidates, his star power from his insurgent 2016 campaign and fundraising prowess swiftly helped position him as one of the party’s front-runners.