Russia trying to boost Bernie Sanders, not only Trump, reports say

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Friday condemned Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 election.

The Vermont senator issued a statement immediately after The Washington Post reported U.S. officials have told Sanders that Russia was trying to help his campaign. The statement did not confirm the report.

Sanders wrote: “I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.”

Sanders response was a sharp contrast from that of President Donald Trump, who has pushed back at the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia has interfered in elections on his behalf.

Federal investigators in 2018 charged 13 Russians in a covert social media campaign that prosecutors said was aimed at dividing public opinion on hot-button social issues as well as propping up Sanders and Republican candidate Trump while also denigrating Hillary Clinton, the eventual Democratic nominee.

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