Bloomberg attacks Sanders over reports of Russian interference
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg attacked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the opening minutes of Tuesday’s Democratic debate in South Carolina, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Sanders to be the nominee because President Trump has a good chance of beating him in November.
Bloomberg was referencing reports from anonymous intelligence officials saying Russia is seeking to use social media to sow division in the 2020 Democratic primary, including by helping Sanders, the progressive independent opposed by many establishment Democrats.
“Putin thinks Trump should be president of the United States and that’s why Russia is helping you get elected so you’ll lose to him,” Bloomberg said to Sanders.
Sanders fired back, recalling Bloomberg’s past praise of China’s President Xi Jinping.
“I’m not a good friend of President Xi of China,” Sanders said. “I think President Xi is an authoritarian leader, and let me tell me tell Mr. Putin, who tried to interfere in the 2016 election and tried to pit Americans against each other: Hey Mr. Putin, if I’m president, trust me, you won’t interfere with any more elections.”