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Bernie Sanders: If his staff’s email were hacked, there would surely be some unkind things about Clinton

Hillary Clinton campaigned with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont last month in New Hampshire. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The trove of hacked Democratic emails that have spilled into public view over recent months have included some unkind things about Bernie Sanders.

An earlier batch showed officials at the Democratic National Committee plotting to undermine the senator from Vermont’s Democratic primary bid against Hillary Clinton by pushing the false notion that he’s an atheist, among other things.

More recently, WikiLeaks has published emails from Clinton campaign officials that paint Sanders in an unflattering light. In one, the campaign's chairman, John Podesta, even refers to him as a “doofus.”

Sanders is prepared to be a liberal thorn in Clinton’s side

During an interview here in his home town, Sanders seemed largely unfazed about what’s been said, suggesting little of it has truly surprised him.

“Trust me, if they went into our emails — I suppose which may happen, who knows — I’m sure there would be statements that would be less than flattering about, you know, the Clinton staff,” Sanders said. “That’s what happens in campaigns.”

He declined to offer examples.

At the same time, Sanders said, it’s been fascinating to get a window into how the Clinton campaign operated.

“The way they work is very, very different than the way we work,” Sanders said. “We did not have a committee deciding what kind of jokes I would be telling. In fact, we usually had me scrambling to write my speech on a yellow piece of paper, which I finished three minutes before I would go up there. So, you know, they were much more prepared and much better organized and careful about what they were saying or not saying. … The way they do politics is very different.”

Sanders — who advocated for more debates with Clinton than the DNC allowed — said other hacked messages have confirmed long-harbored suspicions.

“It’s amusing,” he said. “We said that the Clinton campaign was heavily influencing what the DNC was doing regarding debates, and that’s exactly what had been happening. None of that is a shock to me. Was I shocked to find out that the DNC was partial toward Clinton? Not exactly. That’s something we knew from day one.”

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