According to former Vice President Joe Biden, front-runner Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has some ‘splaining to do.
Speaking with NBC host Chuck Todd for a “Meet the Press” interview scheduled to air Sunday, Biden argued that it’s contingent on Sanders to address and take at least “some” responsibility for his unhinged supporters harassing and threatening his critics.
The former VP was particularly concerned about what’s been happening to two top members of the Culinary Workers Union, a union in Nevada that boasts roughly 60,0000 workers.
Listen (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):
“Two top Culinary Union officials have faced threatening phone calls, emails and tweets and say their personal information was shared online after the release of a union scorecard that took particular aim at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders,” The Nevada Independent reported last week.
“Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline, for instance, has come under attack for her Nicaraguan heritage, and union spokeswoman Bethany Khan was accused of being paid off by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Democratic establishment types. In tweets, the union and its leadership have been referred to as ‘b—-es,’ ‘w—e,’ ‘f—ing scab’ and ‘evil, entitled a–holes.'”
While Sanders isn’t personally responsible for this harassment, Biden argued, he needs to take “some accountability.”
“He may not be [directly] responsible for it, but he has some accountability. … You know me well enough to know if any of my supporters did that, I’d disown them. Flat disown them,” he said to Todd.
“The stuff that was said online, the way they threatened these two women who are leaders in that culinary unit. It is outrageous … the vicious, malicious, misogynistic things they said, the threats they put out. And to say ‘I dissociate’ is one thing. Find out who the hell they are, if any of them work for me. Fire them, find out, see what’s going on.”
When then asked by the host whether Sanders has put enough effort into the matter, Biden suggested that he doesn’t believe the Vermont senator has.
“I’m hoping he’s looking [for info about the perps], but I tell you what, so far I don’t think it’s sufficient just to say, ‘I disassociate myself.'”
When broached about the harassment last Thursday, Sanders issued a vague statement calling out all forms of harassment, not just that perpetrated by his own supporters.
“Harassment of all forms is unacceptable to me, and we urge supporters of all campaigns not to engage in bullying or ugly personal attacks,” he said.
“Our campaign is building a multi-generational, multi-racial movement of love, compassion, and justice. We can certainly disagree on issues, but we must do it in a respectful manner.”
New @BernieSanders statement on Culinary Workers Union Local 226. Says in part: “Harassment of all forms is unacceptable to me, and we urge supporters of all campaigns not to engage in bullying or ugly personal attacks.” pic.twitter.com/QGx4ovQwRz
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) February 13, 2020
During an interview with PBS News that same day, the senator seemed to disown the perpetrators of the harassment.
“Obviously, that is not acceptable to me,” he said. “And I don’t know who these so-called supporters are. You know, we are living in a strange world on the internet….Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement.”
It appears Sanders has in fact disowned the perpetrators, though it’s unclear whether he’s taken the additional steps necessary to ensure that the perps aren’t working in his campaign as either officials or volunteers.
Responding to the senator’s statements, the Culinary Workers Union’s secretary-treasurer, Geoconda Arguello-Kline, warned that this sort of harassment is “very dangerous,” particularly if left unchecked.
“We respect Senator Sanders a lot. We do. We know he’s always been great with the labor and everything. But I think in situations like this he knows what’s going on in this country and he knows this is very dangerous,” she said.
Speaking of which, the senator still has neither acknowledged the existence of nor taken any steps whatsoever to remove the reportedly still-paid campaign staffers who were caught on hidden camera last month by the watchdog group Project Veritas talking about throwing Republicans in gulags.
Watch the hidden camera footage below:
Will moderators of the #DemDebate ask @BernieSanders why he has yet to disavow the comments made by campaign staffers?
-Free speech = violent reaction
cc: @GStephanopoulos pic.twitter.com/6i3TEqIn7S
— Project Veritas Action (@PVeritas_Action) February 8, 2020
The type of insane remarks heard above seem extraordinarily dangerous, yet this footage has received zero attention from either Sanders or the mainstream media.
The left-wing outlet CNN did however run a segment two weeks ago about mean and harassing tweets that were being sent by the senator’s supporters.
“[Sanders] has far more social media followers than any other Democratic candidate, but our senior correspondent explains some Sanders fans are using bullying and hostile tactics on social media to try and drown out his critics,” host Wolf Blitzer announced as the segment began.
CNN reporter Drew Griffin then cited numerous examples of random Sanders supporters tweeting and writing arguably “mean” things to non-supporters.
“Say one thing bad about Bernie Sanders online anywhere, and strident supporters may attack you, personally,” he said. “Multiple targets described to CNN what they call a Sanders swarm, an online swarm on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit — some even digging into their personal lives, trying to out their identity, bully and frighten them into silence.”
While the segment was initially mocked, it appears CNN had a valid point about Sanders’ unhinged, irrational and potentially dangerous supporters.
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