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Sanders denies report he told Warren a woman couldn’t win presidential race

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is denying a news report that claims he once told Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren a woman could not win the 2020 presidential race.

This follows a CNN report citing four accounts of a December 2018 meeting between Warren and Sanders, the two progressive rivals in the Democratic primary contest. That story said three of the sources said Warren responded to Sanders’ comments by saying she disagreed.

Also Read: 2020 primary moving in Bernie Sanders’ direction.

“It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn’t win,” Sanders said in a statement provided to Fox News. “It’s sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren’t in the room are lying about what happened.”

Sanders also took the opportunity to slam President Trump, stating, “What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could.”

The Vermont senator went on to say he does believe a woman can win the race, referencing the popular vote in the 2016 election.

Also Read: Bernie Sanders top pick for Democratic nomination in latest Iowa poll ahead of February caucus

“Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course!” he said. “After all Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.” Trump, however, defeated Clinton in the electoral vote.

The CNN report comes as there appears to be escalating tension between the Sanders and Warren campaigns. A Politico report on a series of talking points from the Sanders’ campaign that aimed to paint Warren as a candidate attracting “highly educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what.”

The script added, “She’s bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party.”

Speaking on Sunday in Iowa, Warren said she was disappointed in the talking points from Sanders’ campaign and said it ultimately will divide voters at the Democrats’ peril.

“I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me,” Warren told reporters. “Bernie knows me and has known me for a long time. He knows who I am, where I come from, what I have worked on and fought for.”

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and Tara Prindiville contributed to this report.