Bernie Sanders Refutes Trump: ‘I Do Not Hate Secretary Clinton’ As Campaign Begins To Rally Around Hillary

Speaking with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Thursday evening, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders refuted Donald Trump’s recent statement that both he and Sanders “hate” the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Trump has made dozens of provocative statements on the campaign trail throughout the 2016 election season, but this prompted a direct response from Senator Sanders.

“He has read my mind, what a man,” Sanders said, replying to Chris Hayes on the statement.

“No, I do not hate Secretary Clinton, I’ve known her for 25 years. I have a lot of respect for her.”

The Senator from Vermont also replied by also pejoratively implying that Trump was a “genius” for being able to read his mind and that the real-estate mogul was lying “as he always does.”

The statement that Sanders is refuting came from Donald Trump’s recent speech in Bangor, Maine where he proclaimed that he knew what the senator “thinks inside.”

“He hates her. He hates her. I mean, he cannot stand her.”

While the comment by Trump may well be a tactic to divide support and sew discord among registered Democrats as the party, as well as the Sanders campaign, begins to shift gears to foment unified support for Hillary Clinton.

In recent weeks, Clinton has met with both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in order to discuss the future of the party as well as the campaigns of Senator Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

According to an interview with the Vice President on NPR’s Weekend Edition, while meeting with Sanders, the party has allegedly secured a future endorsement of Clinton’s campaign by the senator.

Sanders has only come as far as saying that he would vote for Clinton but has been withholding his endorsement of her campaign. Thought to be doing so in order to push the Democrats to the left on certain issues, he has garnered limited backing from supporters as well as pushback from the Democratic establishment.

Former Chief of Staff Bill Daley, the chairman of Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000, sent a clear message to the Bernie Sanders camp that they have no place trying to dictate reform, as he wrote in a Chicago Tribune opinion piece.

“Sanders insists the party adopt ‘the most progressive platform ever passed’ at its Philadelphia convention. Since when does the runner-up get to dictate the platform?”

Indeed, the recent doubling down of the Democrats on issues involving support for the TPP free trade deal, fracking, and Israel put some of Sanders’s non-aligned fairer trade and environmental platforms on the outs. The differences between both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns have been stark on issues of the working class, as he noted in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

“We want an economy that is not based on uncontrollable greed, monopolistic practices and illegal behavior. We want an economy that protects the human needs and dignity of all people — children, the elderly, the sick, working people and the poor. We want an economic and political system that works for all of us, not one in which almost all new wealth and power rests with a handful of billionaire families.”

Some of the issues it has been thought that Sanders could move Hillary to the left on are health care and student loan debt, but after saying that single-payer health care would “never ever” happen, and with the recent unveiling of her plan to forgive student loans for entrepreneurs who have recently graduated, which critics allege benefits the privileged, Clinton and the Democrats don’t seem very moved by Sanders’s insistence for reform.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton debate in April. [Photo by Seth Wenig/AP Images]

For Bernie Sanders to refute Donald Trump’s remarks seems to be readying the inevitable move to endorse not just Hillary Clinton but the Democratic party’s platform as well.

In the meantime, Green Party nominee Jill Stein is hopeful that her campaign can woo Sanders between now and November, though it seems as if the Democrats have Sanders’s support locked.

[Photo by Mike Groll/AP Images]