President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE on Tuesday waded into a dispute between Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTreasury says more rental aid is reaching tenants, preventing evictions 11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' MORE (D-Mass.), dismissing allegations that Sanders told Warren that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency.
Trump appeared to defend the Vermont senator amid the claims while speaking to supporters at a rally in Milwaukee, saying, "I don’t know him. I don’t particularly like him, but I don’t believe he said it," adding that it's "not the kind of thing he'd say."
The president then said he believed a woman can win the White House.
President Trump: "[Elizabeth Warren] said, right, that Bernie stated strongly that a woman can't win for president. A woman can win for president... I don't believe that Bernie said that." pic.twitter.com/KTeEHRHLiT— The Hill (@thehill) January 15, 2020
Sanders initially denied a CNN report that he made the comment during an exchange with Warren in December 2018. But Warren said in a statement Monday night that Sanders "disagreed" with her belief that a woman could win the presidency.
The debate over the exchange is the latest instance of tensions bursting into the open between the two senators, who are the progressive standard-bearers in the Democratic presidential field and have both been entrenched near the top of the polls. They are set to appear in the latest Democratic debate Tuesday night in Iowa.
Trump a day earlier sought to seize on the potential rift between the two campaigns, tweeting that he believed there was a "feud brewing."
The president and his campaign have started focusing additional attention on Sanders, who rocketed to the top of a recent Iowa poll just weeks ahead of the caucuses there. Trump observed during Tuesday's rally that Sanders was "surging" in the polls.