Bernie Sanders has been a busy man since the election, appearing on several talk shows and giving a speech at the Berklee College of Music to promote his new book, Our Revolution. On Tuesday, he stopped by Conan O’Brien’s show to dig into some of the recent tweets from President-elect Donald Trump.
O’Brien started the segment by reading a recent tweet from Trump in which the president-elect claimed — with zero evidence — that he would have won the popular vote if not for “millions of people who voted illegally.” Sanders called the idea “delusional” and “totally insane,” and also said the tweet served a nefarious secondary purpose.
“This is what is scary about it: When he says that, he’s really sending a signal to Republicans all over this country—Republican leaders,” Sanders said. “And what he’s saying is, ‘We have got to suppress the vote. We have got to make it harder for poor people, people of color, immigrants, elderly people to participate, because they may be voting against us.’ And that’s scary stuff.”
O’Brien then brought up Trump’s Tuesday tweet in which he said that people who burn the American flag should face punishment ranging from loss of citizenship to a year in jail. Sanders first chastised Trump for focusing on “three people burning the American flag” instead of “43 million people living in poverty.” He also said that, like Trump’s tweet alleging voter fraud, the flag-burning tweet had a terrifying larger purpose.
“The second point there—there’s a hidden message in that,” Sanders said. “And that is, ‘Be careful if you are prepared to dissent.’ Now, the Supreme Court has said [flag burning] is within constitutional framework—that that’s a form of expression. But what he is really saying is, ‘If you want to really dissent, be careful.’ It’s not just the American flag here. ‘We’re watching you.’ And that’s what scary about that.”