An old video clip surfaced on social media on Monday showing Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, claiming that a woman "could be elected president" hours before Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, affirmed the reported claim that he had told her the opposite.
CNN reported on Monday that according to multiple sources close to Warren and familiar with the encounter, Sanders had told the Massachusetts Democrat during a December 2018 meeting prior to either of them launching their presidential bids and after learning that she was running, Sanders "responded that he did not believe a woman could win."
Since that report was published, a Twitter user shared a clip from 1988 of Sanders, who at the time was expressing his support for Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign.
"The real issue is not whether you're black or white, whether you're a woman or a man -- in my view, a woman could be elected president of the United States," Sanders said. "The real issue is whose side are you on? Are you on the side of workers and poor people or are you on the side of big money and the corporations?"
On Monday evening, however, Warren released a statement regarding her 2018 meeting with Sanders, confirming the claim against him after initially declining to comment on CNN's report.
"Bernie and I met for more than two hours in December 2018 to discuss the 2020 election, our past work together and our shared goals: beating Donald Trump, taking back our government from the wealthy and well-connected, and building an economy that works for everyone. Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed," Warren said.
She continued, "I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry. I'm in this race to talk about what's broken in this country and how to fix it -- and that's what I'm going to continue to do. I know Bernie is in the race for the same reason. We have been friends and allies in this fight for a long time, and I have no doubt we will continue to work together to defeat Donald Trump and put our government on the side of the people."
Sanders offered a strong denial against the claim that was made about him.
"It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn't win," Sanders told Fox News. "It's sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren't in the room are lying about what happened. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016."
Supporters and surrogates of Sanders have also been circulating a report from The New York Times about the same meeting that was published around the time it happened, citing unnamed officials who told the paper that neither Sanders nor Warren "sought support from the other or tried to dissuade the other from running."
Others slammed CNN for running the report without anyone alleging the claims going on record.
This "reporting" + self promotion @CNN is reprehensible. @BernieSanders has categorically denied saying this. So, you @mj_lee should name your sources publicly, retract the story, or change the lede. You do not know what was said. You weren't there + have no recording. #bias," former MSNBC anchor David Shuster reacted.
"This is a case in which journalists should demand people go on record or otherwise not run the story. Four sources, none in the room, all anonymous (and I'm willing to wager, all with a certain political motivation)," Daily Caller editor in chief Geoffrey Ingersoll wrote.
"None of the sources were in the meeting. How can CNN publish this?" The Young Turks' Emma Vigeland asked.
Fox News' Ronn Blitzer, Tara Prindiville, and Andrew Craft contributed to this report.