A protester was quickly escorted out of a campaign rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Phoenix Thursday night after waving a swastika flag.
Sanders, who is Jewish, was welcomed on stage by cheers from the crowd that quickly turned into boos as attendees saw the unidentified man raise a swastika flag behind the Democratic presidential candidate.
People nearby quickly ripped the flag out of the man’s hand and he was escorted from the arena.
Sanders did not appear to notice the man at the time, though he later addressed the crowd, saying, “Whoever it was, I think they’re a little outnumbered tonight.”
A man brought a literal Nazi flag to the rally of a Jewish Socialist candidate for President
He was escorted out by security forcespic.twitter.com/KOLhyJJFxZ
— Siddak Ahuja (@SiddakAhuja) March 6, 2020
Sanders is the son of Polish immigrants who fled the Holocaust in Europe. Many of his relatives were killed in the Holocaust.
Mike Casca, a spokesman for the Sanders campaign, said that “the senator is aware of the flag with the swastika on and is disturbed by it.”
Steven Slugocki, chairman of the Maricopa County Democratic Party, called the incident “absolutely abhorrent.”
“We can argue about which candidate should get the Dem nomination, but antisemitic acts have no place in this world,” he tweeted. “This is absolutely abhorrent.”
We can argue about which candidate should get the Dem nomination, but antisemitic acts have no place in this world. This is absolutely abhorrent. pic.twitter.com/U5gvT7Db6y
— Steven Slugocki (@Slugocki) March 6, 2020
Addressing reporters Friday morning, Sanders said that he not only speaks as a Jewish American, but he “speaks for the families” of the more than 400,000 American troops who died fighting in World War II “against fascism.”
“It is horrific, beyond disgusting to see that in the United States of America there are people who would show the emblem of Hitler and Nazism,” he continued.
A few minor altercations between Trump supporters and Sanders supporters were also reported at the rally.