The appearance of a Nazi flag at the Sanders campaign event Thursday night was widely denounced on social media, sparked outcry and prompted calls for security.
The individual who had hung a flag with a swastika on it was immediately booed by the crowd. Members of the audience ripped the flag from the individual’s hand, and the individual was quickly removed by security.
“And more importantly, they’re going to be outnumbered in November,” he added.
Sanders communications director Mike Casca told CNN that the Vermont senator did not see the flag.
“He didn’t see it, but he was told about it afterward and was disturbed,” Casca told CNN.
Sanders addressed the flag incident on Friday, telling reporters, “I will simply say this, and I speak not only as a Jewish American, I think I can speak for the families of some 400,000 American troops who died fighting Nazism, fighting fascism. That is, it is horrific. It is beyond disgusting to see that in the United States of America. There are people who would show the emblem of Hitler and Nazism.”
The American Jewish Committee tweeted Friday, “Nazi flags are symbols of pure hate and have no place anywhere in America, much less in a rally for a Jewish presidential candidate. We are grateful that those responsible were removed immediately.”
Later in the night, the crowd wrestled away “Trump” banners from protesters, who were also escorted out of the rally, according to footage from CNN affiliate KNXV.
“I don’t care who you’re supporting, attacks like this against a man who could be the first Jewish President are disgusting and beyond the pale,” Biden tweeted. “Hatred and bigotry have no place in America — and it’s up to all of us to root out these evils wherever they’re found.”
“I think at a very early age, even before my political thoughts were developed, I was aware of the horrible things that human beings can do to other people in the name of racism, of white nationalism or, in this case, Nazism,” Sanders said. “The pain that my family, my father’s family suffered in Poland is something that has impacted my life.”
Assault, harassment and vandalism against Jews remain at near-historic levels, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The report found a total of 1,879 acts against Jews and Jewish institutions across the country, including the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, believed to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the US.
This story has been updated with more response from Sanders.