Chuck Todd on Bernie Sanders: 'If you can’t manage a campaign, how do you manage the country?'

NBC's Chuck Todd unloaded on Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday, with the "Meet the Press" host asking how the potential 2020 presidential candidate can run the country if he "can't manage" his own campaign. 

The comments from Todd come after female staffers on Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign have issued a series of sexual harassment allegations against top male campaign staffers, leading the senator to apologize on Thursday.

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On "Meet the Press Daily" on MSNBC on Thursday, Todd played a clip of a recent interview between Anderson Cooper and Sanders, with the CNN anchor asking if Sanders was aware of the allegations at the time.

"Just to be clear, you seem to indicate that you did not know at the time about the allegations, is that correct?" asked Cooper in the Jan. 2 interview. 

"Yes, I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case," replied Sanders. 

Todd took exception to the senator's answer while responding to the clip, asking if it could "derail his chances of another presidential bid. 

"Boy, that is a tough answer to defend because of course, if you are running to be the president of the United States, if you can’t manage a campaign, how do you manage the country? ... That's a tough answer to defend." 

"Politically speaking, no potential 2020 candidate has had a worse start to 2019, it looks like, than Bernie Sanders," he later added.

Sanders apologized on Thursday to the women on his 2016 campaign staff. 

"It now appears that as part of our campaign there were some women who were harassed or mistreated. I thank them, from the bottom of my heart, for speaking out," the 77-year-old said. "What they experienced was absolutely unacceptable and certainly not what a progressive campaign, or any campaign, should be about."

Sanders is widely expected to be among a crowded field of Democratic candidates looking to run against President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE in 2020, though he has not yet hinted at when he would make a decision.