Bernie Sanders announces 2020 run: Full transcript

Bernie Sanders on 2020: Extended interview

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced he will run again for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential race. The three-term Independent senator is the 10th candidate to join the most diverse Democratic Party field in U.S. history. That's very different from four years ago, when the 77-year-old Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley were Hillary Clinton's only Democratic challengers.

bernie-sanders.jpg
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks with John Dickerson on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. CBS News

Only on "CBS This Morning," John Dickerson spoke to Sanders about taking another shot at the presidency, and why he believes this campaign will succeed:

JOHN DICKERSON: So Senator Sanders, you're gonna run for president?

BERNIE SANDERS: I am going to run for president, that's correct.

JOHN DICKERSON: What's gonna be different this time?

BERNIE SANDERS: We're gonna win. We are gonna also launch what I think is unprecedented-- in modern American history, and that is a grassroots movement, John, which will have at least one million people from every state in this country-- coming together to not only defeat Donald Trump, not only to win the Democratic nomination-- but also to lay the groundwork for transforming the economic and political life of this country. That's what's different.

JOHN DICKERSON: And that's your theory, which is that without the-- without the groundswell, without the grassroots you can't change the politics in Washington--

BERNIE SANDERS: That's exactly right. Look John, we are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all, and the reason for that is the power of the insurance companies. We pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. That's the pa-- power of the pharmaceutical-- industry. We have a corrupt political system in which billionaires can contribute unlimited sums of money. That's the power of the top 1% and the billionaire class, and on and on it goes. So somebody could come before you and say, "Look, I wanna do A and I wanna do B," and that's fine. But at the end of the day, the only way that real change takes place is when millions of people stand up, fight back, and say, "Enough is enough. We're gonna have a government that works for all of us, not just the few."

JOHN DICKERSON: This time you're running in a field with a lot more Democrats. How has the field changed since the last time you ran--

BERNIE SANDERS: Well, obviously it's a different campaign. Last time it was just Secretary Clinton, and now it will have who knows, ten, 15, 20 candidates.

JOHN DICKERSON: Doesn't that make it harder?

BERNIE SANDERS: In some ways it does. In some ways it makes it easier. When you're running against one person you know you gotta have 51% of the votes. Now who knows what you need, 30, 35%. But bottom line for me is I think-- it is absolutely imperative that Donald Trump-- be defeated, because I think it is unacceptable and un-American, to be frank with you, that we have a president who is a pathological liar. And it gives me no pleasure to say that, but it's true.

BERNIE SANDERS: We have a president who is a racist, who is a sexist, who is a xenophobe, who is doing what no president in our lifetimes has come close to do doing, and that is trying to divide us up. What presidents-- even conservative presidents, liberal presidents, they understand their function is to bring our people together. This guy is trying to divide us up. That has got to end.

JOHN DICKERSON: But all of your opponents will say, "We've gotta get Donald Trump outta the White House." That's not your distinguishing characteristic. So--

BERNIE SANDERS: That is not my distinguishing characteristic. I think what I am very proud of in-- in a sense, this campaign, John, is a continuation of what we did in 2016. You will recall-- you may recall that in 2016 many of the ideas that I talked about-- Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage-- to $15 an hour-- making public colleges and universities tuition-free-- spending at least $1 trillion and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure-- criminal justice reform-- all of those ideas people would say, "Oh Bernie, they're so radical.

BERNIE SANDERS: "They are extreme. The American people just won't accept those ideas." Well, you know what's happened in over three years? All of those ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream-- and a majority of the American people now support 'em. So what this campaign is about is understanding that three years ago we began the political revolution. Now it's time to complete that revolution and to take those-- that vision and implement it into reality.

JOHN DICKERSON: So you're saying the party came your way?

BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I don't wanna say that. I think most people would say that.

JOHN DICKERSON: Is that your argument then against your competitors, which is, "I was Medicare for all before Medicare for all was cool?"

BERNIE SANDERS: (LAUGH) I guess that's one way of looking at it. But it-- it's-- no. N-- I know many of the people, certainly the senators who are running, and without exception I am fond of them. They are, in some cases, my friends. I think maybe the-- the s-- what distinguishes-- this campaign from the others-- is not only that these are issues that, in fact, we did raise and-- and had to take on enormous opposition-- as we did. But also that what I understand from the bottom of my heart, that real change in this country will never come about unless there is struggle, unless millions of people stand up-- and fight for that change. We have three people in America today who own more wealth than the bottom half of the American-- society.

BERNIE SANDERS: We are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all. We pay the highest prices for prescription drugs, we have a dysfunctional-- child care system. We have a president who doesn't even acknowledge the reality of climate change, let alone take on the fossil fuel industry. Real change, John, is not gonna come when somebody gets to the White House and say, "Oh gee, members of Congress, I think you should, you know, take on the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the pharmaceutical company, do the right thing." That's not how it's gonna happen. It happens when people stand up and fight back. That's the way that real change has always happened in this country.

JOHN DICKERSON: You used to talk about a revolution. That's what you're talking about here?

BERNIE SANDERS: That's right. In other words, w-- once again, it's not gonna happen inside the beltway. The only way that Congress and the White House is gonna move is when millions of people really do stand up and say, "Enough is enough. We want a government--" not just rhetoric; this is reality-- "a government that works for all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors."

JOHN DICKERSON: You used to day-- or you-- you-- you once--

BERNIE SANDERS: Oh, this is dangerous. You're quoting me to myself. (LAUGH) All right. What did I say?

JOHN DICKERSON: You told Bob Schiefer-- you said, "I think it's fair to-- to-- to say that I'm, perhaps, the most progressive member of the United States Senate." That's the last time you ran. Is that still true?

BERNIE SANDERS: Yeah, I think so.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let's talk about one of those-- well lemme ask you this: Is the size of the-- the-- or is the revolutionary nature of each individual policy prescription you make, whether it's on climate change or health care-- is the size and boldness of it-- a signal of how serious you are? Because some of your competitors will be saying, "Well, let's have Medicare for all but let's not do as much as Bernie Sanders wants." Does that mean they're not as serious as you?

BERNIE SANDERS: I don't wanna-- look, these are my friends, these are good and serious people. So I'm not here to criticize my opponents, and I hope that the campaign that will take place-- within the Democratic-- primary pa-- process will be one on issues and not personal attacks. I think all that I'm saying here is that what I understand from the bottom of my heart is that at a time when, for example, the drug companies make billions and billions of dollars in profits, that they themselves will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to prevent a Medicare for all, you gotta take 'em on. So does-- do many members of Congress say, "We oughta lower drug prices?" Almost everybody recognizes that. But the-- you cannot make those changes unless there is a movement of people who make the Congress and the president an offer they cannot refuse.

JOHN DICKERSON: Here's why I ask: There is a debate in the Democratic party which you know so well, about whether your proposals are just too big for the system of government at it exists right now. They're just too large. You talk about a revolution, but other candidates are saying, "We need a more-- yes-- increase the number of people who are covered by health care, yes, it's a right. But we can't go all the way to what Bernie Sanders is suggesting--"

BERNIE SANDERS: John, we are sitting here in Burlington, Vermont, my hometown. Get on your-- get in your car, go 50 miles north and you'll be in Quebec, Canada. Now, somehow or another in Canada, for a number of decades they have provided quality care to all people without out-of-pocket expenses. You go in for cancer therapy, you don't take out your wallet. And they do it for about 50% per capita of the cost that we spend.

BERNIE SANDERS: Now, if our friends in Canada can do it, if our friends in the U.K. can do it in a different way, if our friends in Scandinavia can provide quality health care to all of their people as a right for far less cost than we spend, you tell me why we can't do it. And I will tell you the answer. So I'm not gonna give you the opportunity; I'm gonna give you the answer. And that is, it is not a health care issue, it is a political issue, it's an economic issue, it's the power of the insurance companies and the drug companies. And I'm prepared to take them on.

JOHN DICKERSON: Lemme ask you a policy question and a political question about Medicare for all. When you go to Canada still two-thirds of the people who have the health care in Canada have some form of private help with that insurance. Your Medicare for all plan, as I understand it, has no private element to it.

BERNIE SANDERS: Well, if you want-- you know-- in Canada and what I want, is to cover all of the basic health care needs. If people want cosmetic surgery, fine, they can go to a private-- insurance. The other thing that we do which has not been talked about enough is I'm a strong defender of Medicare as it currently exists. But Medicare today does not cover-- dental care, it does not cover eyeglasses, it does not cover hearing aids. And that is something that many seniors our concerned about. Our legislation will provide that coverage.

JOHN DICKERSON: Well, but lemme ask you, on your Medicare for all you-- have talked about the fact that polls show 70% are in favor of Medicare for all. But that number drops to 37% if somebody hears private insurance is going to go away, which is what your--

BERNIE SANDERS: Well--

JOHN DICKERSON: --which is what your plan offers. So I guess my question is, you're offering something that the polling shows people can get very spooked very quickly about.

BERNIE SANDERS: No. Yeah, but that's because we're gonna be taking on the insurance companies and the drug companies who are gonna spend a whole lotta money distorting what we believe in. For example, they're gonna say people, "You're gonna lose your current health insurance (UNINTEL) employment." Yeah, but you're gonna have the same exact doctor, you're gonna have more freedom of choice under our proposal than you have under the current proposals. So there's a lotta misinformation that's going around on this issue. The bottom line is the average middle class family will save money-- will spend less money on health care, will have more choice, and have broader coverage than is currently the case.

JOHN DICKERSON: So the other b-- the other challenge to your m-- to your health care plan will be cost. People-- you can explain it to them but there w-- people will say, "My goodness, there's no way this is-- everybody's gonna get covered and there gonna are gonna be--"

BERNIE SANDERS: But John, this has--

JOHN DICKERSON: --you know, some of the estimates that come out--

BERNIE SANDERS: No, I need you and the media to help us explain--

JOHN DICKERSON: --trillions of dollars--

BERNIE SANDERS: --the truth. We spend twice as much per capita on health care as the Canadians, all right? And the reason is we waste an enormous amount of money in administration and in an incredibly dysfunctional and complicated system. Our proposal will cost the American people less than the current dysfunctional system. There are some estimates, by the way, that over the next ten years the current system, if not changed, could run up to $50 trillion.

BERNIE SANDERS: Now, here's where the dishonesty comes in. All right, people say, "Bernie Sanders wants to raise your taxes." What they forget to tell ya is that Bernie Sanders is gonna do away with all of your private health-- private health insurance premiums. You're a family of four, John. The average family now is paying $28,000 a year for health insurance. That's gonna end. No more out-of-pocket expenses, no more deductibles. The cost of prescription drugs is gonna go down. We expand the kinds of coverage available for senior citizens. It's a good deal.

JOHN DICKERSON: But that transition, which is essentially transitioning from private premiums you pay now into some federal system-- just that alone is a massive transformation of the-- of-- of the federal system, which just that part of it is-- I mean, you're asking pe--

BERNIE SANDERS: Let's not go l-- let's not go all that crazy. Currently we have Medicare, right, for the elderly. Guess what? Medicare's probably the most popular health insurance program in America. We have Medicaid. That's a pretty popular program. We have the... Veterans Administration, which if you talk to veterans, is a pretty popular program. We are already spending a whole lotta money on public health programs. So all we are doing is taking a popular program that most seniors are very proud of, Medicare, and we're expanding it over a four-year period to all of our people.

JOHN DICKERSON: What happens to the 180 million people in the private insurance market now?

BERNIE SANDERS: They will continue to be able to go to the doctors they want, the hospitals they want. The color of their insurance card will change.

JOHN DICKERSON: And they will no longer be private; it'll be a public system?

BERNIE SANDERS: It'll be Medicare.

JOHN DICKERSON: Right. So y-- I mean, you're adding 180 million people to Medicare, so that'll take a little doing.

BERNIE SANDERS: Look, back in 1965, I think, Medicare was established and everybody said, "Oh my God, it's impossible. This is communism, this is taking away everybody's freedom." Today Medicare is a very popular program, Medicaid is a popular program. Yeah, so it's gonna take an effort. But I think-- two points, John, on this issue. Number one, we as Americans have gotta ask ourselves, "How come every other major country guarantees health care to all people at far lower costs per capita than we do?"

BERNIE SANDERS: That's number one. Number two, fundamental question, "Is health care a human right or is it not?" If you have the money, your kid is sick, you can get great health care. You don't have the money, your kid is sick. You're in trouble. Or you may go bankrupt after you come out of an expensive-- hospital procedure. We can do better as a nation.

JOHN DICKERSON: Quick question about the politics of this. The Democratic party just benefited from a revolutionary response at the ballot box, and winning 40 seats in the House. In the Senate the Democrats didn't do as well because of the structure of the way it works.

BERNIE SANDERS: We had a lotta seats, you know, that we had to defend.

JOHN DICKERSON: Of course. But that's part of the structure of the way politics works. My question to you is, you talk about a revolution. You just had a revolution in 2018 essentially, and it was unable to get past the structural system in the Senate--

BERNIE SANDERS: All right, John-- John, revolutions do not happen overnight. One of the revolutions that I am very proud of-- it's not just that many of the ideas that we brought forth in 2016 are now supported by a strong majority of the American people, it's that we are getting more people, ordinary people, young people participating in the political process. And I think the future of the Democratic party, frankly, is bringing young people-- black, and white, and Latino, and Native American, and Asian-American into the political process. And I'm very proud (and we're gonna build on this) that in the last campaign-- you know, we lost. We got 46% of the pledged delegates. But we won more votes from young people than Clinton and Trump did combined.

JOHN DICKERSON: Does your success hurt in the marketplace of ideas? Which is to say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can talk about a Green New Deal and is getting a lotta coverage for that, but that shrinks the amount of time that people are maybe paying attention to Bernie Sanders or some other idea. Does it change the marketplace of ideas--

BERNIE SANDERS: Quite the contrary, quite the contrary. The fact that we have more voices out there talking, in this case, about the existential threat to our country and the world, which is what climate change is, and the absolute need to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy-- and by the way, when we do that we create millions of good-paying jobs. And we are gonna pay attention to our brothers and sisters in the fossil fuel industry who will be hurt by this transition; we are not gonna leave them on the side of the road.

JOHN DICKERSON: You were supportive of the fact that Amazon pulled out of New York City, that it-- that that deal did not go through.

BERNIE SANDERS: I was, and-- but I was also supportive-- (LAUGH) and-- and maybe at the lead-- of telling Amazon, owned by the wealthiest person in the world, that they cannot continue to pay their employees $9 or $10 or $11 an hour; they have to raise the minimum wage-- their minimum wage to 11 bucks an hour, which as you'll recall-- happened. We did that with Disney-- as well. What you have-- and with a company like Amazon is-- a very profitable company owned by the wealthiest guy in the world, who among other things we recently learned paid zero federal taxes. So you're a worker out there, you're makin' 40,000 or 50,000 bucks a year. You pay more in taxes than Amazon did, that made billions of dollars in profit. And what I did not like about what they did to New York-- that's New York's decision, not mine.

BERNIE SANDERS: But I don't like a powerful company kinda playing off one state or one city against another. "All right, you're-- Los Angeles. What are you gonna give me? You're New York City. What are you gonna give me? How much corporate welfare are you gonna give me? Because I have some jobs." I don't think that's a good way to do business in America.

JOHN DICKERSON: Are corporate tax rates gonna go up under Bernie Sanders?

BERNIE SANDERS: Absolutely.

JOHN DICKERSON: How high?

BERNIE SANDERS: Now, I can't give you-- yeah, that's something we gotta think about. But let's deal with this-- I will tell you this very frankly, John: I worry very much that in our country-- you ain't gonna hear anyone else tell you this. You're not gonna hear it on CBS too much, so-- is that this country is moving toward an oligarchic form of society, and that means that we have a small number of billionaires-- Jeff Bezos being one-- who have enormous economic and political power.

BERNIE SANDERS: And that's why I've introduced a very progressive estate tax to deal with that issue. But at a time when we have so many social needs-- when we have children in this country who are going hungry, when we have veterans who are sleeping on the street, when we have to combat climate change, you know what? Yeah, we are gonna ask the billionaires and the wealthiest people to start paying their fair share of the-- taxes. No apologies on my part.

JOHN DICKERSON: What's your opinion of capitalism these days?

BERNIE SANDERS: Wha-- pardon me?

JOHN DICKERSON: What's your opinion of capitalism at these-- at its--

BERNIE SANDERS: Look, I think-- what we see-- in this country and around the world is a lotta great entrepreneurs who come up with some great ideas and some great products. But I think what is happening is some of these folks-- we-- have a system which allows these people to accumulate huge amounts of-- income and wealth. So when I talk about democratic socialism you're not talkin' about the government running the local grocery store or anything else like that. What we are saying is that in America-- and by the way, Franklin Delano Roosevelt talked about this way back in the 1940s, that people are entitled not only to certain constitutional political rights, they are entitled to economic rights.

BERNIE SANDERS: So if somebody wants to call me-- a radical, okay, here it is: I believe that people are inherently entitled to health care. I believe people are entitled to get the best education they can. I believe that people are entitled to live in a clean environment. People are entitled to have decent-paying jobs. That's what I believe.

JOHN DICKERSON: The president mentioned socialism in his State of the Union Address.

BERNIE SANDERS: Yeah, I heard that.

JOHN DICKERSON: What's he going after there?

BERNIE SANDERS: Oh look, he's gonna appeal-- he's gonna lie-- he's gonna say, "Bernie Sanders wants-- the United States to become Venezuela." Bernie Sanders does not wanna have the United States become the horrific-- economic situation that unfortunately exists in Venezuela right now. What Bernie Sanders wants is to learn from countries around the world. Bernie Sanders wants to learn from Finland in terms of why they have the highest-quality public educational system in the world, learn from s-- Sweden and Denmark why they have virtually free child care and high quality free-- health care for their people, why other countries are doing a better job in dealing with income and wealth inequality than we are. So you got a president who is a demagogue, a president who is leading us in an authoritarian direction. I would hope that the American people don't believe too much of what he says.

JOHN DICKERSON: Democrats, you know this well, come to you and say, "You're not a Democrat. Why are you running in the Democratic primary?"

BERNIE SANDERS: Well, first of all, I am a member of the Democratic leadership. I've been in the Democratic caucus. I am part of the leadership of the Senate. I have been-- part of the Democratic-- caucus in the House for 16 years. And I'll-- I'll-- I will say this-- in terms of that-- so-- and I have knocked my brains out, running around the country to help Democrats win-- the House, to help governors win-- Democratic governors win their seats.

BERNIE SANDERS: But this is what I will also say-- if you look at polling in this country what you find is that a whole lotta people are dissatisfied with both the Democratic and Republican parties. Usually the Republicans come out lowest, Democrats-- and more and more people are seeing themselves as independents. So if-- if the Democratic party is gonna do well in the future I think they have to reach out to those Independents, including, by the way, a lot of young people, a lotta people of color, and bring them into the Democratic party. And I think I'm in a good position to do that.

JOHN DICKERSON: The revolution you're talking about, does it require making a moral case about wealth in America? In other words, not just that it shouldn't be concentrated, but that the people who are concentrated with that wealth are-- are bad people--

BERNIE SANDERS: No.

JOHN DICKERSON: That's part of what the-- fueled the uprising in the Gilded Age against-- concentrated wealth--

BERNIE SANDERS: It's not-- look, I-- I wouldn't use it that way. I mean, there are some bad people who are poor, there are bad people who are rich, there are bad people who are middle class, there are bad people who are black, and white, and Latino, everything else. I don't-- I don't look at it that way. What I look at it is-- is we have created a system which is basically out of control. And that system is that you have billionaire corporations-- billion-- corporations like Amazon that make billions in profit, don't pay a nickel in taxes. You have three people who own more wealth than the bottom half of American society. That is the issue. It's not those three people; it is that we have allowed that to take place. So I got-- we got veteran sleeping out on the street, we have kids who can't afford to go to college, you got 30 million people who have no health care, and then you got three people who own more wealth than the bottom half of America. That is wrong. That's morally wrong, in my view. That is bad economics.

JOHN DICKERSON: The system in Washington that you're familiar with, even though you're tryin' to run a revolution from the outside, is it possible to have bipartisan, "Let's reason together--" in Washington? Or do you need to do things like get rid of the filibuster, to break through some of the systemic things that block both Republicans and Democrats?

BERNIE SANDERS: No, I'm not crazy about getting rid of the filibuster. But I-- I think the problem is people often talk about the lack of-- comity-- and the anger. The real issue is that you have in Washington a system which is dominated-- by wealthy campaign contributors. Who in their right mind-- so you go out, do a poll, all right?

BERNIE SANDERS: Here's a suggestion. CBS: do a poll. Do you think it is a good idea to give $1 trillion in tax breaks to the top 1% and private corporations, and then cut social security, Medicare, and Medicaid? That's the Republican agenda. What percentage of the American people support that-- 5%, 10%? Nobody. And yet that's what happens. Why? Because billionaires and wealthy campaign contr-- contributors significantly control what goes on in Washington.

BERNIE SANDERS: And that is why, among many other things, we have to overturn Citizens United, we have to do away with this horrible voter suppression. Every American, regardless of your political view, should be outraged that you have governors and attorney generals in this country tryin' to keep people from voting because of their color or because of their economic status. Outrageous.

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about a theory that Howard Schultz-- Howard Schultz has now said he would not run as an Independent if the Democrats moder-- nominated a moderate--

BERNIE SANDERS: Oh, isn't that nice. But you raise a good thing. (CLAP) Why is Howard Schultz on every television station in this country? Why are you quoting Howard Schultz? Because he's a billionaire, right? There are a lotta people I know personally who work hard for a living, who make $40,000, $50,000 a year who know a lot more about politics than, in all due respect, does Mr. Schultz. But because we have a corrupt political system anybody who is a billionaire who can throw a lot of TV ads on television suddenly becomes very, very credible. So what Mr. Schultz-- what is he, blackmailing the Democratic party? If you don't nominate Bernie Sanders he's not gonna run? Well, I don't think we should succumb to that kinda blackmail.

JOHN DICKERSON: The other reason-- is that he represents an argument that some people make, which is, "If you're worried about Donald Trump, the Democratic party to win voters in various parts of the country needs to pick somebody who is not so radical." That's also what his theory represents--

BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I think his deeper theory is, "Hey, I'm a billionaire. Leave me alone. And-- let me make as much as money as I can without paying my fair share of taxes, and let me continue to have undue political influence." Which you are quoting me. Here is a billionaire-- no one's ever heard of this guy, or not many people have. He's a billionaire and he's thinkin' of running for president, suddenly he's a very famous guy. That's-- that is a problem with our political system.

JOHN DICKERSON: You'll be 79 when you're inaugurated.

BERNIE SANDERS: Yes.

JOHN DICKERSON: That's old, by the standards of presidents.

BERNIE SANDERS: Yes. (UNINTEL)--

JOHN DICKERSON: Should people be concerned about that?

BERNIE SANDERS: I think-- you know, when we look at-- at people w-- whether they're old or they're young, you gotta look at the totality of-- of the person. I'm sure you have bumped into people who are 90 who do great work, (CLAP) you have bumped into people who are 45 or 50 you gotta wake up 'cause they're falling asleep all of the time. I have been blessed, thank God-- I'm gonna knock-- (KNOCKING) this is wood, I'm gonna knock on it-- with-- with good health and with good energy. I was a cross-country runner, a long distance runner when I was a kid and I've been runnin' hard-- in a sense-- since then.

BERNIE SANDERS: So you know, I think as a nation, as we try to-- stand up and-- and oppose all forms of discrimination, whether it is racism, or sexism, or homophobia, or Islamophobia, whatever it may be, I think we gotta take a hard look at ageism as well-- as well. Judge a person on, you know, whether you like them, whether their ideas make sense, whether you think they can do the job. I-- I think that's how we should look-- at p-- at-- at-- at people running for office-- not just on one criteria, about age.

JOHN DICKERSON: We're out of time, but I got a couple more questions for ya. There has been talk b-- Andrew McCabe was the deputy-- director of the F.B.I. He has a book out, he talked about the 25th amendment with respect to this president. You're thinking of being president. Is it wise for the institution of the presidency to have-- have kind of informal talk about the 25th amendment? A lotta progressives like the idea. Is that good and healthy for presidents--

BERNIE SANDERS: Look, Trump has-- you know, look, all that I will-- I will answer that question by saying this: There are right now a number of investigations, most significantly the Mueller investigation-- looking, in this case, whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Yeah, I think it's a little bit-- preliminary to be giving you answers before we see the results of those investigations.

JOHN DICKERSON: But should be-- people be talking about the 25th amendment?

BERNIE SANDERS: Again-- I don't talk about it.

JOHN DICKERSON: Foreign policy. You wanted America out of a lot of the wars that it was engaged in. Donald Trump wants that too. You said about North Korea that it was-- that it was a good-- first step-- to deesc-- a positive step to deescalate tensions. It would seem like Donald Trump's foreign policy is in sync with your view--

BERNIE SANDERS: No, it's not, in-- in this sense. Trump has gone-- it appears, has gone out of his way to antagonize our long-term allies. I mean, to insult our Canadian neighbors, to insult Germany-- the United Kingdom, France is, you know, almost incomprehensible. On the other hand-- I have called for-- you're absolutely right. I-- I think-- the idea that we are gonna withdraw troops-- from-- Syria or from Afghanistan-- is-- is the right thing, but it has to be done not through a tweet.

BERNIE SANDERS: This is not easy stuff. You can't turn your backs on your allies, you can't leave people in danger. So the idea of getting out of wars that we have been in for a very long time is good, but it has got to be done in the right way. It has to be done with our allies, not through t-- tweets.

JOHN DICKERSON: Last question: There were charges in your last campaign that women felt-- there was discrimination against them, that there was sexism. You met with some of those former staffers. What did you learn?

BERNIE SANDERS: I learned that was true. And-- it-- it-- it breaks my heart. And-- you know, our campaign kind of exploded; we went from a few people to a lotta people. And I will be very honest-- in telling you that t-- in retrospect, some of the people that were hired should not have been hired and some women went through experiences that they should not have. But lemme also say this-- in my 2018 campaign for reelection to the United States Senate from Vermont and in this campaign for president, we are going to have the strongest protocols-- to protect women and anybody else against-- any form of harassment. We are gonna be training every employee who works for us-- and we're gonna give people who feel that they've been harassed the opportunity to talk to people outside of the campaign. So this has been an issue that has upset me-- and we're gonna rectify it in this campaign.

JOHN DICKERSON: All right. Senator Sanders, thank you.

BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you very much, John.