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Sanders: Clinton should have spoken up about Russian bots during election

Sanders: Clinton should have spoken up about Russian bots during election
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (I-Vt.) on Wednesday suggested Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonLate night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study 10 steps toward better presidential debating Continuity is (mostly) on the menu for government contracting in the next administration MORE’s campaign should have done more to notify the public that Russians were attempting to sow division during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, Sanders was asked why he did not warn his supporters leading up to the 2016 presidential election that Russian bots were attempting to sow division between him and Clinton by attacking Clinton on pro-Sanders social media forums.

"I did not know Russian bots were promoting my campaign," Sanders said. “In the midst of all of this, I was out campaigning very hard for Hillary Clinton. So, let me leave it at that."

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Sanders said a member of his team did speak with the Clinton campaign in September 2016 to warn them of "strange things happening" on social media, but suggested his opponent’s campaign had more information about the nature of the attacks. 

"If you and your campaign knew there was Russian meddling and it was trying to sow division, why not take that directly to your supporters?” radio host Jane Lindholm asked.

Sanders responded that the "real question to be asked" was why didn't the Clinton campaign do something.

"They had more information about this than we did. And at this point we were working with them,” Sanders said. “We knew what we knew, when we knew it. And that’s about all I can say."

The Justice Department last week announced charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for allegedly interfering in the 2016 race. The charges allege that Sanders was one of the candidates that Russians sought to support through their efforts.

In the wake of the indictment, Sanders has lashed out at President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE for failing to properly acknowledge Russia's meddling or to take action to protect against future interference.