Sanders says he would 'absolutely' be willing to use military force if elected president

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.) said he would “absolutely” be willing to use military force if he were elected president in a “60 Minutes” interview set to air Sunday.

CBS contributor Anderson Cooper asked the presidential candidate if he thought there were any situations in which military action would be “warranted.”

“Absolutely. Of course I do,” he said. “You know, you hopefully as rare as possible. But, yeah, we have the best military in the world.”

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The Vermont progressive said he would consider military action if there were “threats against the American people” or “threats against our allies,” saying he believes in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Cooper prompted Sanders with a theoretical Chinese invasion of Taiwan, to which the senator responded, “I mean I think we have got to make it clear to countries around the world that we will not sit by and allow invasions to take place, absolutely.”

Sanders went on to say he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnTrump advisers were wary of talking military options over fears he'd accidentally start war: report Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the new nuclear danger Kim: North Korea's nuclear weapons will prevent war MORE, adding that meeting with adversaries is “not a bad thing to do.”

“I think, unfortunately, Trump went into that meeting unprepared,” he said. “I think it was a photo opportunity and did not have the kind of the diplomatic work necessary to make it a success. But I do not have a problem with sitting down with adversaries all over the world.”

The Vermont senator has been a proponent of prioritizing diplomacy instead of military action in the country’s “endless wars.”

Sanders is leading the Democratic party after wins in Nevada and New Hampshire and becoming the runner-up in Iowa. He currently has 31 delegates, but Nevada has yet to distribute 26 of its delegates after Saturday’s caucuses.