President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE on Tuesday downplayed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE’s (I-Vt.) chances in the 2020 presidential race, telling reporters he believes the Vermont senator “missed his time” to capture the Democratic nomination.
Trump was asked during an Oval Office announcement on space policy for his reaction to Sanders announcing his presidential bid earlier in the day.
“Personally I think he missed his time,” Trump told reporters. “But I like Bernie because he is one person that, you know, on trade he sort of would agree on trade. I’m being very tough on trade, he was tough on trade.”
“The problem is he doesn’t know what to do about it,” Trump continued. “We’re doing something very spectacular on trade. But I wish Bernie well. It will be interesting to see how he does.”
President Trump: “@BernieSanders is running. Yeah, that’s right. Personally, I think he missed his time. But, I like Bernie.” pic.twitter.com/K4SAtNrfP8
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 19, 2019
The president criticized the Democratic Party’s treatment of Sanders during his White House bid four years ago, when former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE ultimately secured the nomination.
Party leadership drew scrutiny in the aftermath of the 2016 primary after it emerged that the Democratic National Committee had an agreement with the Clinton campaign to allow it to control the party’s finances and fundraising. The arrangement sparked outrage from Sanders’s supporters, who alleged the primary had been rigged against him.
“What happened to Bernie maybe was not so nice,” Trump said Tuesday. “He ran great four years ago and he was not treated with respect by Clinton and that was too bad.”
Sanders joins a growing list of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020. Among those to launch a bid are Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.).
Trump’s campaign said Tuesday morning that Sanders “has already won” the Democratic primary debate “because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism.”
The Trump campaign also announced a round of staffing hires as the operation gears up for the 2020 cycle.
Trump on Tuesday shrugged off the mounting field of potential challengers.
“You’ve got a lot of people running but only one person’s going to win. I hope you know who that person is,” he said with a smile before shooing reporters out of the room.
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