Sanders compares Trump to Hitler, then denies it

It is 'in my heart to see what a lunatic can do by stirring up racial hatred,' he says, after mentioning Holocaust.

Gil Ronen ,

Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hinted quite clearly on Saturday that Donald Trump's rhetoric endangered Muslims in the US in the same way that Adolf Hitler had endangered Jews, but Sanders denied Sunday that he had compared Trump to Hitler.

"Some of you know I’m Jewish,” Sanders said during a town hall in Wisconsin on Saturday. “My father came to this country at the age of 17 from Poland. He came over; other people in his family did not come over. Most people died. Children died. Relatives of my father. So that is in my heart to see what a lunatic can do by stirring up racial hatred. And we’re not going to allow that to take place in this country.”

On ABC’s “This Week” program, which hosted Sanders the following day, host George Stephanopoulos asked Sanders if he was comparing Trump to Hitler.

"Oh no, no, there’s nothing to do – no, that’s not right,” Sanders responded. “What I talked about… there was a Muslim woman there next to me, and she is telling me that, what is true, is that people in the Muslim community are very fearful now. And what I was saying is I’m going to do everything that I can to kind of stop those Islamophobic attacks so that kids in this country who happen to be Muslim are afraid.”

“No, I did not compare Trump to Hitler. But I will do everything that I can to stop this type of hatred and hate talk that we are hearing,” Sanders added.