In a wide-ranging interview with Senator Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, NPR Host Diane Rehm stated as fact that the Jewish lawmaker is a dual citizen of both the United States and Israel. She later revealed, in a statement provided to Breitbart News, that she had mistaken a Facebook comment asserting Sanders’ alleged dual citizenship as fact.
At the 24-minute mark, Rehm says to Sanders, “Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel,” to which Sanders replies, “Well… No, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I am an American. I do not know where that question came from.”
“I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I am an American citizen. I am an American citizen, period,” said Senator Sanders.
Rehm replied, speaking very slowly and with great difficulty: “I understand from a list we have gotten that you were on that list. Forgive me if that is…”
“Now that is some of the nonsense that goes on the internet,” replied Sanders.
“Interesting,” said Rehm, who then asked, “are there members of Congress who do have dual citizenship or is that part of the fable?”
“Honestly I don’t know,” said Sanders. “My dad came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket and loved this country,” he added.
“I get offended a little bit by that comment,” he said to the NPR host. “I am obviously an American citizen and I do not have any dual citizenship.”
“Alright,” Rehm replied, before moving on to ask Sanders about whether he believes “Palestine” should be recognized.
When reached for comment, NPR referred Breitbart News to WAMU, which produces the Diane Rehm show. WAMU provided Breitbart News with a statement from Diane Rehm regarding her interview with Senator Sanders:
On today’s show I made a mistake. Rather than asking Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders whether he had dual U.S./Israeli citizenship, as I had read in a comment on Facebook, I stated it as fact. He corrected me, saying he did not know where the question came from. I apologized immediately. I want to apologize as well to all our listeners for having made an erroneous statement. I am sorry for the mistake. However, I am glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.
The Jewish Journal found that in a Google search for “Bernie Sanders Israeli Citizenship,” a number of anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian conspiracy websites linked to a supposed list of the Jewish “dual citizens.”