Sanders rips billionaires who ‘give up democracy’ to support Trump

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed billionaires who have financially supported former President Trump in the 2024 presidential race, calling them “greedy.”

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Sanders — who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions — called out the billionaires who have embraced the former president in support of their agenda.

“At a time when we have so much greed out there, when the religion of the billionaire class is greed, they would rather give up democracy can take a hit,” he told Hayes in an interview Friday.

“These guys are so greedy. So wedded to their wealth and their power that they will do anything, anything, to keep that position,” Sanders continued, adding that “Trump is an outrageous example of selling out for money.”

The senator, who ran against President Biden in the 2020 election, issued examples of areas where billionaires have had the most influence, including health care and climate change.

“This guy, Trump, wants to deregulate the fossil fuel industry even more and destroy the planet,” Sanders argued, asking “Why?”

It’s because the billionaires are willing to spend “huge amounts of money” to control the narrative, he answered.

When pressed about how much money political action committees and donors can give to candidates post-Citizens United — a 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the door to unlimited independent spending in federal elections — Sanders decried that it is hard to win an election without billionaire’s money.

“If you will have the guts to take on neocon foreign policy [or] you want to take on the corporate interests that are so powerful, tell you what’s going to happen, you’re going to lose,” he said Friday. “And that message goes all over Congress: You stand up for working class people, hey, your days are numbered.”

“This is oligarchy. And it’s an issue that we have got to focus on and deal with,” the senator added.

Sanders specifically pointed to Biden, who has promoted himself as the most “pro-union” president, walking the picket line during the United Autoworkers Strike last year and Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan working to combat monopolies as examples of interests billionaires likely don’t support. When you don’t reinforce the same agenda as the wealthy class, he said, they don’t support you.

His remarks come after a Trump super PAC, MAGA Inc., received $50 million from businessman Timothy Mellon following the former president’s conviction in May, according to NBC News. The investment also followed the presumptive GOP nominee’s foray into cryptocurrency, seemingly turning away from his previous aversion to the form of payment.

The Vermont independent ripped the donation as “absolutely disgraceful” and called for a reversal of the Citizens United case.

“We got to get rid of that. And second of all, we have got to do it like many other countries around the world who have public funding of elections: So, you want to run against me, that’s fine. But you don’t want to have the right to have 50 times more money coming from rich people in order to defeat me,” he said. “We should be debating ideas.”

Sanders reiterated that he believes billionaire donors care less about the people and more about their interests. Because of this, he continued, they are going to want someone like Trump leading the country.

“I think that greed is so incredibly ugly and pervasive that these guys want it. They want more and more,” Sanders said of a second Trump term, as Biden and the former president barrel toward a likely rematch. “I think they could care less about what’s happening to the elderly, the children, the working class of this country.”

“I believe that they will do anything that they can to enrich themselves and Trump is clearly their guy,” he added.

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