The Truth About Bernie Sanders’ Controversial News 12 Interview, Jane’s Arpaio Confrontation

Bernie Sanders is getting heat from some voters for “walking off” an interview with a Phoenix news station. KPNX News 12 in Phoenix is reporting that Sanders abruptly ended an interview after Brahm Resnik asked him about his wife, Jane’s, “meeting” with Sheriff Joe Arpaio several days ago.

Sanders was at a Phoenix hotel where he briefly met with several television stations to give brief interviews. News 12 was one of several that were queued up to meet with him. According to Buzzfeed News, Sanders hosted “several in a row” interviews in the hotel ballroom at Twin Arrows Casino prior to a speech he was scheduled to give. Each reporter was allotted four minutes. When their time was up, someone in the campaign made them stop asking questions to ensure each reporter would have a chance to interview him.

KPNX News 12 posted extra footage after a Buzzfeed request, which quite clearly shows Sanders neither fled, nor was attempting to hide anything. On the contrary, when Resnik was asked why Bernie Sanders ended the interview, he played dumb.

“The truth is I don’t know. I’m not a mind reader. I have to believe his handler behind me gave him the cut sign.”

Resnik had have known the rules, which the extra footage with Bernie at the end chastising him proves. Bernie stood up, stayed where he was and made it very clear that the reporter knew the drill. The conversation went as follows.

“I told you you had four minutes. You had more than four minutes. I didn’t walk away, you persisted.”

“Im a reporter. That’s what we do.”

“Don’t say I walked away. You got four minutes…that was the time that was allotted.”

“I’m not going to squabble about this.”

At the end, Sanders sat back down in his chair, proving once and for all that he did not walk away or leave the interview. He ended it because Resnik went over time.

As for the interviewer’s question about Jane Sanders’ visit to Tent City, some Bernie Sanders supporters claim it (and the Minutemen question) were meant to raise doubt and to smear the campaign. The question was framed in such a way as to imply that Jane had planned to meet with Sheriff Arpaio, which is untrue.

Earlier in the week, Jane visited Tent City, an outdoor jail in Maricopa County run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Inmates wear old-fashioned black and white striped outfits and are given pink blankets and underwear. Sanders went to the jail with immigrant rights leaders, and according to Bernie Sanders’ website, were planning on only viewing the jail through the fence.

According to AZCentral, Sanders wasn’t planning on touring the inside, but Arpaio showed up unexpectedly and offered her a tour. Because of this impromptu visit, some Clinton supporters have criticized Jane for meeting him.

Sanders asked Arpaio questions about the conditions at Tent City, which the sheriff brushed off.

“This sun — we’re out here for just a few minutes. It’s hard to be in those tents.”

The inmates are not provided air conditioning and are given only bottled water. Arpaio compared Tent City to the conditions American soldiers endure in the Middle East. The problem with Arpaio’s justification is that it simply isn’t true.

Inquisitr spoke with a former Army member, Sergeant Joseph Hoffman of White Oak, Texas. Hoffman served ten years and did two tours in Iraq while in the Army. He served in Iraq at various bases: Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, Forward Operating Base Delta near Al Kut, and several stand-alone mini-camps near Al Kut, Iraq.

During his time at each location, the Army ensured its troops had proper air conditioning and hydration. Hoffman described the requirements and maintenance that went into keeping the A/C units in good condition.

“They have a tendency to freeze up and require constant maintenance to keep them clean with all the dust. The ones in my sleeping room/tents had to be cleaned daily. Frequently we had to go without them when power outages occurred or sometimes when we had to do generator or site maintenance.

“My command teams insisted that we always had plenty of water and we had mist fans to help keep cool.”

Hoffman also described strict regulations on working outdoors with proper hydration and work/rest cycles strictly enforced. We asked Hoffman is opinion on Sheriff Arpaio’s Tent City jail and his comments regarding service members in the Middle East. He was critical of the sheriff’s cavalier attitude toward the inmates.

“Arpaio appears to be doing something in my opinion is unethical…and needs to spend some time dealing with what we had to. “

Hoffman also named several concerns he had about Tent City and its inmates.

“It appears he is doing some form of racial profiling because…most, if not all, of those in the tents are Hispanic. There appears to be no other races in the tents. My second concern is where is he getting his information on soldier lives in the Middle East.”

An NPR story from 2011 describes the cost of keeping barrack tents cool in the Middle East, which includes spraying polyurethane foam on tents to help insulate them. Hoffman said that the Army began using the insulation in 2009 around the Wasit province area of control. The photos of Arpaio’s tents and of the Army tents are vastly different. Where Army tents are fully enclosed, Tent City offers only canopies not fully enclosed or protected from the environment.

Hoffman also expressed dismay at what he called Arpaio’s “apparent disregard for the safety” of Tent City’s inmates. While Hoffman did not indicate a preference for any candidate, it is clear he does not agree with the way Joe Arpaio handles Tent City, or his surprise meeting with Jane Sanders.

When Bernie Sanders ended his interview with Resnik after the reporter’s question about Jane’s “meeting” with Arpaio, Resnik and News 12 made it appear that Sanders was angry about “gotcha” questions about his wife. Other news media outlets latched on to the manufactured controversy, accusing Sanders of limiting access to the media.

Mike Casca, Sanders’ Rapid Response Director, fired off a tweet aimed at CNN’s Dan Merica.

Earlier this week, Sanders held a rally that boasted 7,000 attendees in downtown Phoenix. After traveling to Utah and Idaho where he held rallies with large turnouts, Sanders has returned to Phoenix, Arizona, where he is holding another rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. For Sheriff’s Arpaio’s sake, let’s hope he doesn’t crash this event.

[Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images]