A moment between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the end of Tuesday night's Democratic Presidential Debate have some wondering if the recent rift between the two most-progressive candidates and self-described friends will be repaired anytime soon.
As the debate was signing off, the six candidates were shaking hands with one another. Warren and Sanders appeared to lock eyes and Sanders reached out his hand. Warren clasped her hands together and the pair exchanged some words for a few seconds. Then the conversation ended and they did not shake hands, at least not in the widely-shared video. It's not clear if they shook hands later.
The microphones were off, so it's unknown what they said to one another.
There was immediate reaction on social media to the moment, which you can see in this thread. Some thought Warren rejected the handshake while others said it was Sanders.
The debate came a day after a CNN report citing anonymous sources, which Warren later verified, claiming that Sanders told Warren in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency.
"Why did you say that?" moderator Abby Phillip asked Sanders.
Sanders replied he did not say that.
"Anyone who knows me knows that it's incomprehensible that I would think that a woman cannot be president of the United States," Sanders said.
Sanders pointed out that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote against Donald Trump by 3 million votes. He indicated there are videos from 30 years ago of him saying a woman can be president. He also said that in 2015, he supported a movement to have Warren run against Hillary Clinton. When she decided not to run, he entered the race.
Sanders was asked again to confirm he did not say to Warren that a woman could not be president.
"That is correct," Sanders said, indicating he did not say it.
Warren was then asked by Phillip, "What did you think when Sen. Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?"
Warren disagreed with the thought and said Sanders is her friend and she did not want to fight with him. Then she pointed to the election success she has had along with fellow senator Amy Klobuchar.
“Look at the men on this stage. Collectively they have lost 10 elections,” Warren said, noting Sanders, Vice President Joe Biden, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and billionaire Tom Steyer. “The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women.”
Sanders also stated that the controversy is something Trump would turn into a talking point. At a rally in Wisconsin Tuesday night, Trump did just that, appearing to come to Sanders' defense.
“She said that Bernie stated strongly that a woman can’t win. I don’t believe that Bernie said that, I really don’t. It’s not the kind of thing Bernie would say,” Trump said.