Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign is setting itself up for future trouble.
On Tuesday, CNN reported the senator’s 2020 presidential campaign would be hiring Claire Sandberg as “director of organizing — a senior leadership position traditionally associated with a job title like national field director.” Sandberg had previously worked on Sanders’ 2016 campaign but had a falling out with “Bernieworld” after she and others resigned from Our Revolution, the organization formed to further the Vermont senator’s worldview after he lost the 2016 primary to Hillary Clinton.
That’s not the issue Sandberg brings to Sanders’ campaign. As The Washington Free Beacon reported shortly after the announcement, Sandberg has repeatedly defended Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has made headlines since coming into congress by spouting anti-Semitic tropes. Last month, Sandberg said Omar was “unfairly vilified” after the congresswoman claimed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was buying influence with American politicians, saying “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”
“If we think @IlhanMN was unfairly vilified for correctly pointing out the role of money in shaping US policy on Israel, then we should support her not just w/ tweets but also w/ money. I just set up a recurring monthly contribution and I hope you will too,” Sandberg tweeted in defense of Omar.
Sandberg, the Free Beacon also noted, is friends with Linda Sarsour, who has also defended Omar’s anti-Semitism and continues to pal around with Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite.
That, apparently, isn’t an issue for Sanders, who has also defended Omar. Sanders called Omar after her AIPAC remarks to offer support for the embattled congresswoman.
Sandberg made her piece with Sanders’ organization, Our Revolution, after saying the man who would lead the organization would waste money on “TV instead of investing it in building a genuine movement.”
Four years later, she has made peace with that man, Jeff Weaver.
“It’s no secret that I had my disagreements with Jeff in the past, but a little less than four years later, I look back on the first campaign and I can think of many more things that he did right then that he did wrong,” Sandberg told CNN. “I think it says a lot about who he is and his commitment to Bernie and to our movement that he was willing to accept my apology and ask me to return despite the history there.”
While Sandberg will be working on Sanders’ presidential campaign, he also has a senate staffer who has defended Omar and repeated her anti-Semitic trope about “dual allegiance” to Israel. Last week, Sanders’ national deputy press secretary, Belen Sisa, had to delete a Facebook post and put out an apology for her actions. Sisa had responded to a Jewish person’s Facebook post detailing the history of the “dual allegiance” slur by asking “This is a serious question: do you not think that the American government and American Jewish community has a dual allegiance to the state of Israel?” She added that she was “asking not to rule out the history of this issue, but in the context in which this was said by Ilhan.”
Sisa later deleted her post and provided an apology to Politico:
In a conversation on Facebook, I used some language that I see now was insensitive. Issues of allegiance and loyalty to one’s country come with painful history. At a time when so many communities in our country feel under attack by the president and his allies, I absolutely recognize that we need to address these issues with greater care and sensitivity to their historical resonance, and I’m committed to doing that in the future.
Sisa is also an illegal alien brought to the U.S. by her parents at the age of six and protected by President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to the Washington Examiner.