Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who continues to trail former United States Vice President Joe Biden in most Democratic primary polls will campaign in Iowa ahead of the February 3 caucus vote there, despite the fact that he is obligated to attend the impeachment trial of Donald Trump now underway in the Senate. But he will charter a private jet to do it, reports say.
Sanders was seen sleeping in his seat during the second day of the impeachment trial, according to Courthouse News correspondent Megan Mineiro, reporting via her Twitter account.
“On more than on occasion,” Mineiro reported, Sanders was spotted snoozing, “slouched in his chair with his chin bobbing down to his chest” during the impeachment trial presentations by House managers, who made their case for removing Trump from office.
Sanders is 78-years-old and in October 2019, suffered a minor heart attack but returned to the campaign trail within days.
The impeachment trial is scheduled to run six days per week, with marathon sessions beginning at 1 p.m. EST each day and extending well into the evening. The opening day of the trial started on Tuesday and carried on until about 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
But according to a report by the conservative Washington Examiner news site, the Sanders campaign has chartered a private jet to allow Sanders to bolt from Washington D.C. to campaign appearances in Iowa.
The Sanders campaign, however, has been keeping the candidate’s planned use of a private jet under wraps, because it is “not comfortable” and “worried about the optics” of Sanders, who promotes himself as a “democratic socialist” champion of the “working class,” flying on a private jet. According to the Examiner account, the campaign refused to comment when asked about Sanders’ use of the jet.
Though Sanders is a leading advocate of the “Green New Deal” proposal, which calls for massive reductions in carbon emissions to combat the rapid progress of climate change, private jets are considered among the worst carbon polluters, spewing approximately eight times the amount of carbon per passenger into the atmosphere as commercial airliners, according to a report by The Independent newspaper.
Under Trump’s tax cuts passed in late 2017, individuals and corporations can deduct the full price of newly purchased private jets from their taxes, a change that has made the highly inefficient mode of transportation more popular among businesses and the wealthy.
After Sanders conceded the 2016 Democratic primary race to Hillary Clinton and agreed to campaign for the nominee, he reportedly requested that the Clinton campaign foot the bill for private jets to fly him around the country to campaign stops, leading a top Clinton aide to blast him as “his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders” who insists on flying via “cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe,” as quoted by The Examiner.