CNN’s John King Apologizes for Falsely Saying Sanders Wasn’t ‘Nice’ to Biden When Dropping Out

Sanders called Biden “a decent man” in his address

Last Updated: April 8, 2020 @ 12:26 PM

Moments after airing clips of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ national address announcing his drop from the presidential race, CNN’s John King and Dana Bash falsely accused the senator of not saying anything “nice” about the former vice president. King later apologized.

Sanders said, “I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.”

Three minutes after airing that clip on “Inside Politics,” King, the show’s anchor and the network’s chief national correspondent, said, “What struck me the most there is Sen. Sanders, in saying goodbye, did acknowledge that Joe Biden had an insurmountable lead but he didn’t say anything nice about Joe Biden. He did not say he’d spoken to him. He did not say he would work with him. He said it was imperative to beat President Trump but there was no big embrace of Joe Biden. He said nicer things about Joe Biden back during some of the Democratic debates than he did in saying goodbye.”

Bash agreed: “It was really noteworthy that that was not part of his message at all.”

She mentioned asking Biden’s team if he’d gotten a phone call, since that was “glaringly absent” in Sanders’ speech. Though Bash didn’t immediately say how Biden’s team responded.

“He wanted to make this about his accomplishments, about the accomplishments of the movement — to use Ryan Nobles’ term — that he, rightly so, is very proud of building,” added Bash, who serves as the network’s chief political correspondent. She noted that Sanders’ “understanding” of his own movement likely prevented him from embracing Biden “right out of the bag as he’s letting them down.”

King addressed the moment on Twitter later Wednesday, writing, “Harpoons deserved and accepted, and my apologies to Senator Sanders. We had some technical issues and I did not hear the ‘I will work with’ — The error was mine and the blame lies with me not anyone else in the conversation.”

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