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Warren: 'Disappointed' to hear Sanders urging volunteers 'to trash me'

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Warren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pick Biden's economic team gets mixed reviews from Senate Republicans MORE said she was “disappointed” to hear that her presidential primary opponent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Overnight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Biden faces new Iran challenges after nuclear scientist killed MORE (I-Vt.) was reportedly urging his campaign volunteers to “trash” her and warned against the “factionalism” she said impacted the 2016 election. 

“I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me,” Warren said Sunday, speaking to reporters in Iowa. “Bernie knows me, and has known me for a long time, he knows who I am, where I come from, what I have worked on and fought for and the coalition and grassroots movement we’re trying to build.”

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Her comments were in response to a Politico report that the Sanders campaign was sharing a script instructing volunteers on how to sway voters who are learning towards supporting Warren.

The campaign reportedly instructs volunteers to say Warren is their "second choice" before listening "concerns about her," including that she is supported by "highly educated, more affluent people," who will vote for a Democrat "no matter what." 

Warren continued by warning against the “impact of the factionalism in 2016,” seemingly referring to Sanders supporters who did not back Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Katko fends off Democratic opponent in New York race Harris County GOP chairman who made racist Facebook post resigns MORE against then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE after Sanders lost the primary to the former secretary of state. 

“We can’t have a repeat of that,” Warren said. 

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“Democrats need to unite our party, and that means pulling in all parts of the Democratic coalition,” she said. 

“I hope Bernie reconsiders and turns his campaign in a different direction,” the senator added. 

A spokesperson for Sanders said the campaign does not have a response to Warren’s comments. 

Sanders dismissed the conflict as a “little bit of a media blow up” and said “nobody is gonna trash Elizabeth,” while speaking to a BuzzFeed News reporter. 

He told the same reporter he did not approve of the memo reported by Politico. 

“Look I read about it. We have over 500 people on our campaign. People do certain things. I’m sure that on Elizabeth’s campaign people do certain things as well, but you have heard me for months. I have never said a negative word about Elizabeth Warren, who is a friend of mine,” Sanders reportedly said. “We have differences on issues. That’s what a campaign is about. But nobody is going to be attacking Elizabeth." 

The leading progressives in the race have largely held off sparring with each other during the primary. 

Both will appear on stage at Tuesday’s debate in Iowa, which will be the last time candidates will debate before next months’ first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.