Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., said that the verbal battle that almost turned into a fistfight in the Senate was “pathetic” on “Anderson Cooper 360” in an interview about the confrontation Tuesday.
“It’s pretty pathetic,” Sanders told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper of the fistfight that he attempted to break up during a Senate hearing on Tuesday. “This country, Anderson, faces so many crises. We have massive income and wealth inequality. We have a housing crisis. Our healthcare system is almost collapsing, it’s broken, it’s dysfunctional. We pay the highest prices for prescription drugs. Climate change is threatening the entire existence of the planet.”
“And this is what goes on in a Senate hearing,” he added.
Sanders was referring to the argument between Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., and Teamsters President Sean O’Brien that almost became physical during a Senate hearing.
“Sir, this is a time, this is a place. You want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults and we can finish it here,” Mullin told O’Brien during a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing after reading a tweet in which O’Brien said he could take the senator “any time” or “any place.”
“OK, that’s fine, perfect,” O’Brien responded.
“You want to do it now?” Mullin asked.
“Stop it, hold it, no, no, sit down,” Sanders said, attempting to calm both men down. “You’re a United States senator. Sit down.”
Sanders also called out the media for its interest in the fight.
“By the way, it might be nice for the media to pay attention to really what the hearing was about — that workers all over this country are standing up and fighting back against corporate greed,” Sanders said. “That’s what the hearing was about, not a senator getting into a fight with a union leader,” he added.
Sandres asked if the media is “more interested in confrontation than why we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality?”
“That, to me, is kind of an important issue that maybe Congress should be discussing, and the media should be covering.”
Sanders, Mullin, and the Teamsters did not respond to requests for comment from Fox News Digital.
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.
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