Bernie Sanders denounces ex-Goldman Sachs CEO for saying he would prefer Trump in 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is denouncing former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein after the Democratic billionaire indicated he would vote for President Trump if Sanders became his party's nominee.

"I welcome the hatred of the crooks who destroyed our economy," Sanders tweeted Friday. Blankfein, who was Goldman's CEO during the 2008 financial crisis, was included among a list of "anti-endorsements" unveiled by Sanders last year.

That list included former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who has credited Trump for creating the booming economy under his presidency.

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Blankfein told the Financial Times in an interview published Friday that he "might find it harder to vote for Bernie than for Trump."

“There’s a long time between now and then," he said. "The Democrats would be working very hard to find someone who is as divisive as Trump. But with Bernie, they would have succeeded."

Blankfein also defended Trump against "shrill" attacks from Democrats over the recent impeachment controversy.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable or cynical for a legislator to have said that what Trump did was wrong and showed bad character, but it was not at a level where we’re going to overturn an election nine months before the next one," Blankfein said.

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Progressives such as Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have painted billionaires as a source of the country's economic problems, which Blankfein told the FT he saw as "assassination by categorization."

"I think it’s un-American," he said. "I find that destructive and intemperate. I find that just as subversive of the American character as someone like Trump who denigrates groups of people who he has never met. At least Trump cares about the economy.”

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Earlier this month, Blankfein warned that Sanders would draw support from Russia and ruin the U.S. economy.

"If Dems go on to nominate Sanders, the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the U.S.," he tweeted. "Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump [and] he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military. If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around."

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