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Sanders Condemns Any Russian Influence in Election 

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., signs autographs to Latino supporters at a campaign event at Valley High School in Santa Ana, Calif., Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is condemning any Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election.

The Vermont senator issued a statement immediately after The Washington Post reported U.S. officials told Sanders that Russia was trying to help his campaign. The statement did not confirm the report.

Sanders wrote: "I don't care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do."

Sanders continued: "Unlike Donald Trump, I do not consider Vladimir Putin a good friend. He is an autocratic thug who is attempting to destroy democracy and crush dissent in Russia. Let's be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts, and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election."