Clinton, Sanders camps feuding like it's still 2016

Image: Democratic Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sander
Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders stand next to each other at the start of their MSNBC Democratic Candidates Debate at the University of New Hampshire on Feb. 4, 2016 in Durham, New Ha Copyright Joe Raedle Getty Images file
Copyright Joe Raedle Getty Images file
By Alex Seitz-Wald with NBC News Politics
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The wounds of the last Democratic presidential primary have clearly not healed as a new contest gets underway.


WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are tiffing again.

Almost three years after their Democratic primary came to an end, it's clear that tensions are still raw for some in both camps as the Vermont independent senator embarks on his second presidential campaign.

The week began with Sanders and Clinton allies hurling invective at each other through the press over a Politico story about the private jets Sanders requested from Clinton's camp when he stumped for her in the 2016 general election.

In the story, a former Clinton aide derided Sanders as "his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders" while a former Sanders aide called Clintonworld "some of the biggest a--holes in American politics" — and those were just the on-the-record quotes that sources were willing to put their name to.

The week ended Friday with Clinton's spokesperson firing back at Sanders after he said he has no interest in seeking any advice from Democrats' most recent presidential nominee.

"She has not called me," when asked on ABC's "This Week" if Sanders, like several other 2020 candidates, would like to meet with Clinton. "Hillary and I have fundamental differences."

Host Meghan McCain, the daughter of former Republican senator and presidential nominee John McCain, appeared startled and pressed again to make sure he really had no interest in seeking the counsel of someone who has also served as secretary of state, senator and first lady.

"I think not," Sanders repeated, while acknowledging that Clinton has "played a very important role in modern American politics" and saying he would support whomever Democrats nominate.

Clinton's longtime spokesperson, Nick Merrill, did not let the snub stand.

Merrill went on to suggest Sanders was being hypocritical for distancing himself from Clinton now after his allies touted his work her just days ago in the private jet story.

"(W)hen it served his own purposes a week ago @BernieSanders was more than happy to tout his @HillaryClinton ties," Merrill added, attaching a photo of a letter Clinton sent thanking Sanders for his help in 2016.

Clinton won the 2016 Democratic primary with some 16 million votes to Sanders' roughly 12 million, so he would likely need to bring many of her supporters into his fold to win the nomination this time.

In her post-campaign memoir, "What Happened," Clinton wrote that Sanders' attacks on her "caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign."

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