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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign posted several tweets Monday night containing fabricated quotes attributed to Sen. Bernie Sanders about various dictators. (Image: composite/Common Dreams)

'String of Intentional Outright Lies': Bloomberg Campaign Deletes Tweets Containing Fake Quotes of Sanders Praising Despotism

"Mike Bloomberg has been publishing videos attacking Bernie Sanders and Bernie supporters for being 'toxic'—and then Bloomberg fabricated grotesque fake quotes and attributed them to Bernie."

Julia Conley

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign came under fire after posting a series of now-deleted tweets that included fake quotes of 2020 Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders praising authoritarianism.

As Common Dreams reported, Sanders' comments praising former Cuban President Fidel Castro for literacy programs in the island nation echoed remarks made about the Cuban leader by former President Barack Obama just four years ago. Both Sanders and Obama denounced authoritarian rule in Cuba while acknowledging the Castro government oversaw major advances in its education and universal healthcare systems, leading to better health outcomes for Cubans.

Bloomberg's campaign, however, compared Sanders' remarks to made-up statements attributed to the Vermont senator about former Ugandan President Idi Amin, Soviet leader Josef Stalin, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and others.

The Bloomberg campaign deleted the tweets and said they were meant to be satirical, but The Guardian reported that some social media users said the campaign had not made clear that the quotes weren't real when they posted them using the hashtag #BernieOnDespots.

Sanders' press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, called the tweets a "string of intentional outright lies."

David Sirota, a speechwriter for the senator, slammed Bloomberg's team over the tweets—which, he noted, followed complaints from Bloomberg about the online "toxicity" allegedly supported by Sanders' campaign.

The tweets were posted three days after Twitter announced it was suspending 70 accounts that have posted identical messages in support of Bloomberg in recent weeks.

The Bloomberg campaign has also been ridiculed for hiring people to post messages on social media in favor of the former mayor, paying them $2,500 per month—a tactic which UCLA professor Tim Groeling told the Los Angeles Times "signified his lack of organic grassroots support."


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New Climate Study Predicting More Rain Than Snow in the Arctic 'Rings Alarm Bells'

"There are huge ramifications of these changes," said the lead researcher, "all of which have implications on wildlife populations and human livelihoods."

Jessica Corbett ·


Durbin Introduces Amendment to End 'Legacy of Cruelty' by Closing Guantánamo

"It's time at long last to face reality and... close the detention facility at Guantánamo. Let's put this dark chapter behind us once and for all."

Brett Wilkins ·


As Executives Hike Prices, US Corporations Rake in Biggest Profits Since 1950

"Prices are high," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, "because corporations are raising them—so they can keep paying themselves with ever-larger executive bonuses and stock buybacks."

Jake Johnson ·



47 Groups Urge Congress to Avert 'Human Rights Failure' by Blocking Biden's Saudi Arms Sale

"The Biden administration in its very first weeks committed both to center human rights in foreign policy and to end U.S. complicity in the war in Yemen. Allowing this sale to stand breaks that commitment."

Brett Wilkins ·

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