(CNN)Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night sought to fully divorce himself from supporters who have harassed others online and questioned whether anyone who believes in his agenda would attack a union leader.
Top officials at the Culinary Union in Nevada accused Sanders supporters of swarming them online after the union distributed fliers that said Sanders would “end” their health care.
Sanders at a CNN town hall questioned whether some of the social media comments cited by critics were, in fact, written by his supporters.
“The idea that anybody who works with me would make a vicious attack against a union leader just because we disagree on an issue is incomprehensible to me,” Sanders said. “And you know what, I’m just not sure that that’s true.”
He also pointed out that members of his own staff had been the targets of online harassment.
“Talk to the people in my campaign, often the African American women in this campaign, talk to my wife, about the kind of ugly attacks that have come in to us,” he said.
On the broader issue, Sanders was — in his final point on the question — unequivocal.
“I do not believe in online bullying,” he said. “End of discussion.”
Sanders also had a message for his supporters.
“Anybody out there who claims to be a Bernie Sanders supporter: we work with the unions. This is a union-led campaign. We be