Bernie Sanders Demanded Private Jets: Clinton Aides

But Vermont senator's staff calls nominee and her 2016 team 'total ingrates'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2019 3:04 AM CST
Sanders Demanded Private Jets, Clinton Aides Say
Sen. Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton last time.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

For someone who talks about the evils of the fossil fuel industry and the dangers of climate change, Bernie Sanders takes a lot of private jets—at least according to Hillary Clinton's former campaign staffers. Politico spoke to six of them, plus another source familiar with travel arrangements, and they all say that when Sanders ended his own campaign for president in 2016 and began campaigning for Clinton, he asked that private jets be provided. His staff said that was the only way he could make it to all the events Clinton's campaign scheduled for him. Her team wanted him to fly commercial most of the time but, in the end, spent at least $100,000 on private flights for three trips. And it didn't end there; Sanders' Senate campaign paid $342,000 to a private jet service last year, mostly for a nine-day trip to campaign for Democratic candidates up for election in the midterms.

Clinton staffers who blame Sanders in part for her defeat in the 2016 election see this as hypocrisy for the politician who once said, "To hell with the fossil fuel industry” and posted a video just last week criticizing it. One said the only way Sanders would agree to campaign for Clinton was "if he was flown around on a cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe." But Sanders aides remember Clinton and her staff during that tense campaign differently. "She's not nice. Her people are not nice," one staffer said. He added that Sanders "busted his tail to fly all over the country to talk about why it made sense to elect Hillary Clinton and the thanks that [we] get is this kind of petty stupid sniping a couple years after the fact." His aides insist private jets were only requested when commercial travel was not an option, and one notes that for last year's travel, carbon offsets were purchased to zero out emissions. See Politico's full story here. (A Democratic senator argued climate change with schoolchildren.)

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