Gabbard on personal meeting with Sanders: 'He showed me the greatest respect'

Gabbard on personal meeting with Sanders: 'He showed me the greatest respect'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTrump and allies grapple with how to target Harris It's Harris — and we're not surprised Democrat Kai Kahele wins Hawaii primary to replace Tulsi Gabbard MORE (D-Hawaii) tweeted Monday that when she met with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE (I-Vt.) before announcing her presidential campaign, he “showed me the greatest respect.”

“We had a nice one-on-one conversation and I informed him that I would be running for President,” she tweeted. “In that meeting, he showed me the greatest respect and encouragement, just as he always has.”

The tweet came amid ratcheting tensions between Sanders’s and Democratic Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenNew poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE’s (Mass.) presidential campaigns. 

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Earlier this week, a CNN story broke citing four anonymous sources close to Warren that alleged that during a private meeting between Sanders and Warren in December 2018, Sanders told his progressive colleague that a woman could not be elected president.

Sanders has vehemently denied that he made the statement. 

However, late Monday, Warren responded to the news in a statement saying, “I thought a woman could win; he [Sanders] disagreed.” Warren continued, saying that she did not want to discuss what took place at the meeting any further. 

The clash followed a report over the weekend that the Sanders campaign was telling its volunteers to turn potential voters against Warren, saying that she is a weak candidate because she only appeals to wealthy, educated liberals. 

The recent exchange between the two progressive candidates underscored a marked change in tone after months of the two avoiding criticizing the other’s campaign. Heat between the New England lawmakers has also intensified just before a critical Democratic debate in Iowa Tuesday. 

Gabbard has not qualified for Tuesday night’s debate, polling at less than 3 percent nationally. The candidate also closed her fourth quarter fundraising totals at $3.4 million ahead of the new year, putting her significantly behind Democratic front-runners Sanders, Warren and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE (D).