Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) did not condemn the leftist protesters who harassed his colleague Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in a bathroom stall because he could not rebuke her politics in the prepared statement, according to a new report.
Axios has published an email exchange where Sanders purportedly withheld his name from a joint statement of Senate Democrat leadership when he was barred from including a segment that criticized Sinema’s opposition to President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” program.
While Sanders did not object to any of the statement’s forceful language condemning the leftist protester’s actions, his communications director Mike Casca asked in an email for the statement include the following line: “While we hope Senator Sinema will change her position on prescription drug reform and support a major [budget] reconciliation bill, …”
When an aide to Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who organized the statement, denied Bernie’s request, Casca replied, “Sanders will not be signing, so please cut ‘Senate Democratic Leadership Team’ from headline.”
Scoop: Bernie Sanders withheld support for a joint statement condemning last weekend's protests against Kyrsten Sinema because it also wouldn't include a rebuke of her political views, an email exchange leaked to @axios shows
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) October 7, 2021
On Sunday, a video surfaced showing activists with LUCHA Arizona confronting Sinema outside her classroom at Arizona State University (ASU), eventually following her into the restroom as they lamented her lack of support for Biden’s agenda. The heated exchange continued for several minutes, even after Sinema ducked into a stall.
🔴BREAKING: Blanca, an AZ immigrant youth confronts @SenatorSinema inside her classroom, where she teaches @ ASU. "in 2010 both my grandparents got deported bc of SB1070…my grandfather passed away 2 wks ago & I wasn't able to go to Mexico bc there is no pathway to citizenship." pic.twitter.com/JDZYY2fOD2
— LUCHA Arizona (@LUCHA_AZ) October 3, 2021
Reactions to the viral video have been intensely divided, with legions of far-left activists and media figures defending the protesters by claiming that Sinema’s refusal to go along with Biden’s agenda warranted the harassment.
— Jezebel (@Jezebel) October 4, 2021
When asked about the incident, President Biden said that while the tactics are inappropriate, they are “part of the process.”
“I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody. The only people it doesn’t happen to are people who have secret service standing around them. It’s a part of the process,” Biden said on Monday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later elaborated that it was “inappropriate and unacceptable” that Sinema’s classroom, students, “the safe and intellectually stimulating environment she’s worked to create during the years of teaching at [ASU] was breached.”
Days after the ASU confrontation, another activist — a DACA recipient from Arizona — harassed Sinema on a commercial flight.
LUCHA, the organization behind the ASU incident, is linked to billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. Just days before the bathroom episode, LUCHA and United We Dream announced a six-figure ad buy to pressure Democratic senators such as Sinema to “deliver a much overdue pathway to citizenship for millions.”