In a tense moment after Tuesday’s debate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) walked over to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to accuse him of calling her a “liar” on national television.
In new audio found by CNN, Sanders retorted that it was Warren who called him a liar, and that they’d discuss it later.
The soundless clip of the moment was caught in real time and widely distributed, but audio was discovered Wednesday on the backup microphones clipped to the senators’ clothing.
“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” Warren said after she walked over and pulled her hand back from Sanders’ offered handshake.
“What?” Sanders responded.
“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” she said again.
“You know, let’s not do it right now. If you want to have that discussion, we’ll have that discussion,” Sanders said, to which Warren replied, “Anytime.”
“You called me a liar,” Sanders added. “You told me — all right, let’s not do it now.”
Another candidate, billionaire Tom Steyer, was awkwardly hovering behind the heated interaction. “I don’t want to get in the middle,” he said. “I just want to say hi Bernie.”
The tension between the Sanders and Warren camps has been escalating since it came out last weekend that Sanders volunteers carried anti-Warren talking points while canvassing. Days later, sources told CNN about a comment Sanders reportedly made in 2018 to Warren that a woman can’t be elected president. Sanders denies that he made the comment; Warren confirmed that he did.
When the issue surfaced during the debate, Sanders again denied what Warren said had happened. Though she quickly pivoted off of the issue when asked about it, her anger came through a later exchange about Sanders’ past election.
The two shook hands when they first walked onto the stage; they did not upon exiting it.