Senate

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

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday suggested Hillary Clinton’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.”

{mosads}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 Trump for failing to properly acknowledge Russia’s meddling or to take action to protect against future interference.

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
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