For the second time, 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg’s campaign has accused Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) supporters of vandalizing one of the campaign’s offices without providing any evidence.
The Bloomberg campaign reported on Monday that vandals had spray painted “OLIGARCH” on the entrance of its office in Chicago, Illinois Sunday night, which the campaign described as “an act of hate.”
Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey admitted in a statement that “while we do not know who is directly responsible,” Sanders and his campaign “have repeatedly invoked this language, and the word ‘oligarch'” to describe the billionaire.
“Sen. Sanders’ refusal to denounce these illegal acts is a sign of his inability to lead, and his willingness to condone and promote Trump-like rhetoric, has no place in our politics,” Sheekey said.
His statement included a photo of the defaced office entrance, which shows the vandals had also spray painted “SEXIST,” “RACIST” and “GOP.” However, the campaign manager did not mention those words in his condemnation of “hateful rhetoric.”
Anthony Guglielmi, the chief communications officer at the Chicago Police Department, confirmed to TPM that the office had been vandalized by what appeared to be three people, who have not yet been identified.
“It is still premature for us to comment on who may be responsible,” said Guglielmi.
The Sanders campaign declined to comment.
In a similar episode last week, the Bloomberg campaign pointed the finger at Sanders after the campaign’s office in Knoxville, Tennessee had been spray painted with the words “Fuck Bloomberg,” “resist,” and “oligarch.” And similar to the incident in Chicago, the campaign offered zero evidence for its accusation.
“We don’t know who is responsible for this vandalism, but we do know it echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters,” Sheekey said at the time.
During the Democratic debate on Wednesday, Sanders condemned those who made “ugly remarks” on his behalf.
“I disown those people,” he said.