'Detestable': Sanders condemns man who unveiled Nazi flag at his rally


'It is beyond disgusting to see that in the United States of America there are people who would show the emblem of Hitler and Nazism,' Sanders said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Friday condemned the man who unfurled a Nazi flag at a Sanders rally in Phoenix, Arizona, calling the display of the hate symbol "detestable."

"I speak not only as a Jewish American, I think I can speak for the families of some 400,000 American troops who died fighting Nazism, fighting fascism, that it is horrific, it is beyond disgusting, to see that in the United States of America there are people who would show the emblem of Hitler and Nazism," Sanders said in a news conference.

Media Matters on Friday reported that a man named Robert Sterkeson has come forward to claim he is the person who displayed the Nazi flag at the Sanders rally on Thursday night.

"This is me at a Bernie Sanders rally unfurling the Swastika behind him right as he came out. Footage on tomorrow's episode!" Sterkeson posted on YouTube, according to Media Matters.

Sterkeson has made racist comments at rallies before, including in 2017, when he shouted Islamophobic comments at a Council on American-Islamic Relations event in Arizona.

If Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, he would be the first Jewish presidential nominee, and ultimately the first Jewish president of the United States should he defeat Donald Trump in November.

He also has an intimate connection to the Holocaust. His father — a Polish immigrant — lost numerous family members to the Holocaust. And he's recalled how growing up around Holocaust survivors in the Brooklyn neighborhood where he was raised shaped his worldview.

Sanders said it was "detestable" to see the Nazi flag at his rally.

"We have had other events with some Trump people, you know they get agitated and they try and disrupt the meeting and we deal with that. But this was something different," Sanders said.

"To have in the United States of America somebody bringing forth the most detestable symbol in modern history ... is unspeakable."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.