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Bernie Sanders: Sarah Sanders has the right to 'go into a restaurant and have dinner'

The Hill logo The Hill 6/27/2018 Justin Wise
Bernie Sanders holding a sign © Provided by The Hill

Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday came to the defense of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying individuals should "have the right to go into a restaurant and have dinner."

The Vermont senator made the comments while speaking on MSNBC about the recent uptick in public confrontations Trump Cabinet officials have faced. On Friday, Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a small Virginia restaurant because of her role in the administration.

In addition, protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) on Tuesday over the Trump administration's border policies.

"I'm not a great fan of shouting down people or being rude to people," Bernie Sanders said. "People have a right to be angry when Congress gives tax breaks to billionaires and then wants to cut nutrition programs for low income pregnant women."

But he said that anger needs to be taken out in a "constructive way" and that people should not be kicked out of restaurants over political differences.

"Look, as I've said before, yeah, I think people have the right to go into a restaurant and have dinner," he said.

The senator added that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who upset longtime Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a New York congressional primary Tuesday, is a prime example of taking anger out in a constructive way. Ocasio-Cortez, a first-time Democratic socialist candidate, is a former organizer for Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign. Her win stunned political observers.

"She took on the entire local Democratic establishment in her district and won a very strong victory," Bernie Sanders said in a statement earlier Wednesday, referring to Ocasio-Cortez. "She demonstrated once again what progressive grassroots politics can do."

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