Federal officials have told 2020 Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign in an effort to meddle in the Democratic presidential primary, The Washington Post reports. President Trump and lawmakers have been informed, though it’s unclear what kind of assistance Russia has attempted to provide. The Wall Street Journal reported there was specific intelligence “compelling enough” that Sanders needed to be alerted, through the information didn't reach the scale of what was found during Russia's efforts to interfere in Trump's 2016 campaign.
“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do,” Sanders said in a statement. “In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020.” Sanders later confirmed to reporters that his campaign had been informed of Moscow's attempted interference about a month ago. “It was not clear what role they’re going to play. We were told that Russia, maybe other countries, are going to get involved in this campaign, and look, here’s the message to Russia: stay out of American elections,” he said.
It comes after Trump and lawmakers were told that Russia was attempting to assist Trump in the 2020 election too. While Sanders has previously stated that some of his fervent online supporters, or “Bernie Bros,” could be Russian bots, there appears to be no evidence to back up the claim.