Politics

Clinton Staffers Mocked ‘His Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders’ For Private Jet Use During 2016 Campaign

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter

Former Hillary Clinton staffers mocked Sen. Bernie Sanders throughout the 2016 election for his penchant for flying private when he could have flown commercial, Politico reported Monday.

After Sanders lost the 2016 Democratic primary to Clinton, he agreed to campaign for the Democratic nominee against President Donald Trump. Sanders often requested that the Clinton campaign charter private jets to get him to rallies, costing about $100,000 in total in the last two months of the campaign. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders, Climate Hawk, Spends Nearly $300K On Private Jet Travel In A Month)

“I’m not shocked that while thousands of volunteers braved the heat and cold to knock on doors until their fingers bled in a desperate effort to stop Donald Trump, his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders would only deign to leave his plush D.C. office or his brand new second home on the lake if he was flown around on a cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe,” former Clinton campaign rapid response director Zac Petkanas told Politico.

Sanders continued flying private in the two years following Clinton’s loss to Trump, spending $342,000 on private jet travel.

“We would try to fight it as much as possible because of cost and availability of planes, but they would request [a jet] every time,” one Clinton aide told Politico. “We would always try to push for commercial. … At the campaign, you’re constantly trying to save like 25 cents.”

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (L) speaks directly to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they discuss issues during the Democratic presidential candidates debate sponsored by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (L) speaks directly to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they discuss issues during the Democratic presidential candidates debate sponsored by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, Feb. 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Sanders spokeswoman Arianna Jones said the Independent Vermont senator’s private flights during the election were essential for Sanders to stick to a grueling campaign schedule.

“That’s why chartered flights were used: to make sure Sen. Sanders could get to as many locations as quickly as possible in the effort to help the Democratic ticket defeat Donald Trump,” Jones said.

Sanders has often decried wealthy individuals traveling in private jets because of the carbon emissions produced. When he announced his 2020 presidential campaign on Feb. 19, he targeted the fossil fuel industries for contributing to climate change.

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