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Bernie Sanders refuses to sign Dem leadership statement condemning bullies who harassed Sen. Sinema in the bathroom — because it did not rebuke her political views

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema found herself the victim of left-wing bullies over the weekend. A group of radicals — including, apparently, at least one man — from a social justice group followed her into a women's bathroom with cameras rolling to harass her about her objection to President Joe Biden's and the Democrats' $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

Afterward, folks across the country condemned the tactics, noting that not only did the activists film Sinema while she was in the bathroom, they also recorded innocent bystanders who were using the facilities.

But many on the left downplayed the awfulness of the spectacle. One far-left feminist outlet applauded the bullies' actions. And President Biden dismissed the episode as something that "happens to everybody."

Sinema's office is apparently not happy that her fellow Democratic senators and the White House have not stood up for her, according to Axios.

And now Democratic discord in Congress' upper chamber just went up a notch, thanks to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' refusal to sign a statement from the party's Senate leadership condemning the activists' bathroom antics — all because of Sinema's objection to the Democrats' spending agenda, Axios reported.

What happened?

According to Axios, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) initiated a statement from Democratic leadership that would declare the protesters who followed the Arizona lawmaker into the restroom and filmed her there as "plainly inappropriate and unacceptable." But an email exchange about the statement among Democratic aides obtained by the outlet revealed "the hostility between the progressive and moderate members," who are currently fighting over the Biden spending plan.

In the back and forth, Sanders' office asked that the draft statement be edited to include criticism of Sinema's stance on the Biden agenda. According to the leaked emails, Mike Casca, the Vermont lawmaker's communications director, told fellow Democrats to insert in the preface, "While we hope Senator Sinema will change her position on prescription drug reform and support a major [budget] reconciliation bill, ..." — but Booker would not allow it.

Casca then told the drafters that "Sanders will not be signing" and asked that they "cut 'Senate Democratic Leadership Team'" from the statement's headline.

Axois posted copies of the email exchange on its website and social media.

Though Sanders, who serves as one of the 12 elected party leaders in the Senate, would not offer backup for his maligned colleague, at least eight other members of Democratic leadership agreed to sign the statement. Along with, Booker, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), Mark Warner (Va.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), and Catherine Cortez-Masto (Nev.) put their names down to support Sinema and condemn her attackers.

As of now, the statement has not been published, and Axios reported that it's unclear whether it will actually run.

Sanders' and Sinema's offices both declined Axios' requests for comment.

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