A spokesman for Bernie Sanders lashed out at Hillary Clinton’s ex-staffers Monday for leaking a story about how the Vermont Socialist had demanded fossil fuel-guzzling private jets while campaigning for Clinton in 2016.
Michael Briggs, Sanders’ 2016 campaign spokesman who often traveled with Sanders on the private flights, told Politico that Clinton and her staff were “total ingrates” in light of the Herculean effort the Vermont senator put in to try to help her win.
“You can see why she’s one of the most disliked politicians in America. She’s not nice. Her people are not nice,” he said.
“[Sanders] busted his tail to fly all over the country to talk about why it made sense to elect Hillary Clinton and the thanks that [we] get is this kind of petty stupid sniping a couple years after the fact,” he continued.
“It doesn’t make me feel good to feel this way but they’re some of the biggest assholes in American politics.”
What fueled Briggs’ rage was a story the website published earlier Monday that said Sanders’ environmental hypocrisy became “a running joke in the office,” and cited numerous former Clinton staffers as sources.
More than two years later, still-bitter Clintonistas, including some working for Sanders’ Democratic rivals in the 2020 presidential race, have not forgotten his demands, the website reported.
“I’m not shocked that while thousands of volunteers braved the heat and cold to knock on doors until their fingers bled in a desperate effort to stop Donald Trump, his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders would only deign to leave his plush DC office or his brand new second home on the lake if he was flown around on a cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe,” Zac Petkanas, director of rapid response for the Clinton campaign, told Politico.
After Sanders endorsed Clinton and agreed to campaign for her, it quickly became clear that Sanders liked to fly in style, the website reported, citing six ex-Clinton staffers and another source.
Sanders’ camp wanted privately chartered jets, which Team Clinton thought were a waste of money.
But the Vermont senator wound up flying private on three separate multiday trips in the final two months of the campaign.
Sanders’ flights — usually on a Gulfstream plane — cost the Clinton-Kaine campaign at least $100,000 in total, according to three sources familiar with the cost, the website reported.
“We would try to fight it as much as possible because of cost and availability of planes, but they would request [a jet] every time,” one of the sources said.
“We would always try to push for commercial. At the campaign, you’re constantly trying to save like 25 cents.”
Sanders spokeswoman Arianna Jones said it was impossible to get to all of the events in such a short time without chartered flights, especially since the senator was traveling to smaller markets with limited commercial options.
“That’s why chartered flights were used: to make sure Sen. Sanders could get to as many locations as quickly as possible in the effort to help the Democratic ticket defeat Donald Trump,” she said.
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