People in Democrat Hillary Clinton's circle are calling out how Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., frequently uses sleek private jets — including during his 2016 presidential campaign — despite his calls to curb greenhouse gases and with tight campaign budgets.
Sanders' 2016 campaign spokesman responded by calling Clinton's campaign staff "a—holes."
Politico spoke with members of Clinton's 2016 campaign, which faced a tough primary fight against Sanders before he conceded defeat and endorsed her for president.
"I'm not shocked that while thousands of volunteers braved the heat and cold to knock on doors until their fingers bled in a desperate effort to stop Donald Trump, his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders would only deign to leave his plush D.C. office or his brand new second home on the lake if he was flown around on a cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe," Zac Petkanas, who worked as the Clinton campaign's rapid response director, told Politico.
The private jet issue became apparent after Sanders endorsed Clinton. When he agreed to appear on the campaign trail with her, Sanders would reportedly demand the use of a private jet, typically a Gulfstream. Politico reported the travel setup cost the Clinton campaign at least $100,000.
Sanders has spent more than $342,000 on private jet flights in the two-plus years since the 2016 election, Politico noted.
"We would try to fight it as much as possible because of cost and availability of planes, but they would request [a jet] every time," a source told Politico of Sanders' campaign travel habits. "We would always try to push for commercial. . . . At the campaign, you're constantly trying to save like 25 cents."
In response to the private jet revelations, Michael Briggs — the spokesman for Sanders' 2016 campaign — had some choice words for Clinton's staff.
"You can see why she's one of the most disliked politicians in America," Briggs said. "She's not nice. Her people are not nice.
"[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.
"It doesn't make me feel good to feel this way, but they're some of the biggest a—holes in American politics."
Sanders is running for president in the 2020 race and among his campaign issues is battling climate change, as he has been a strong supporter of passing legislation to create more environmentally friendly laws.
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