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Sanders: Klobuchar and Buttigieg ended campaigns under 'great deal of pressure' from 'establishment'

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell makes failed bid to adjourn Senate after hours-long delay Senate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Democrats break COVID-19 impasse with deal on jobless benefits MORE (I-Vt.) said Sunday that the "establishment" placed "a great deal of pressure" on Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: China implicated in Microsoft breach | White House adds Big Tech critic | QAnon unfazed after false prediction FDA signals plan to address toxic elements in baby food Sen. Tina Smith calls for eliminating filibuster MORE (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Senate begins marathon vote-a-rama before .9T COVID-19 relief passage The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Virus relief bill headed for weekend vote Biden turns focus to next priority with infrastructure talks MORE to exit the presidential race and endorse former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits MORE.

“The establishment put a great deal of pressure on Pete Buttigieg, on Amy Klobuchar, who ran really aggressive campaigns. Well, I know both of them. They work really, really hard. But suddenly, right before Super Tuesday, they announced their withdrawal,” Sanders said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“If they had not withdrawn from the race before Super Tuesday, which was kind of a surprise to a lot of people, I suspect we would have won in Minnesota, we would have won in Maine, we would have won in Massachusetts. The turnout may have been a little bit different,” he added.

Sanders also addressed Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (D-Mass.) declining to make an endorsement after withdrawing from the race, with NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddBrown vows Democrats will 'find a way' to raise minimum wage Fauci lays out timeline for vaccinating teens, children Trudeau: Canadian, US border to remain closed 'for now' MORE asking him whether he could win the presidential nomination without her support.

“I would certainly love to have the support of Sen. Warren, but yes, of course we can. We can win this because we are going to win the support of working people all over this country who agree with our agenda that, among many other things, the time is long overdue to recognize that health care is a human right in this country, not a privilege. We must pass a 'Medicare for All' single-payer program,” Sanders said.

Sanders also addressed online attacks from his supporters, which Warren described in a recent interview. Sanders has repeatedly condemned such attacks.

“I will not deny for a second that we have some people who claim to be supporters, although I have a hard time understanding why they think they can support me and make vicious personal attacks against people. That's not what our campaign is about,” Sanders said.

The Vermont senator also addressed online harassment of black women affiliated with his campaign. 

"Talk to some of the African American women who are in my campaign about the racist and sexist crap that they have got to deal with," he told Todd. "So it's an ugly world out there."

Hilary Rosen, a surrogate for former Vice President Joe Biden, apologized last week after telling Sanders campaign co-chairwoman Nina Turner she did not have the "standing" to quote Martin Luther King Jr., and MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson was widely criticized in February for calling Sanders’s campaign staff the “island of misfit black girls.”