A video appears to show a Bernie Sanders campaign staffer saying supporters of President Donald Trump should be thrown in gulags if the Vermont Senator becomes president.
The undercover footage was unveiled Tuesday by right-wing activist group Project Veritas and shows an undercover journalist speaking with a man identified as Kyle Jurek, who reportedly worked as a field organizer for the Sanders 2020 campaign.
Founded by activist James O’Keefe, Project Veritas uses the techniques of undercover journalism to expose alleged liberal bias and corruption. The group has had a major political impact, including helping to shut down ACORN in 2010. But it has also been caught making false claims and using deceptive tactics.
A two-minute clip distributed on social media by Project Veritas shows Jurek downplaying the horror of Joseph Stalin’s forced labor camps, suggesting Sanders’ “free education” platform is aimed at “de-Nazifying” Trump supporters and saying billionaires should be thrown into gulags to make them empathize with the “working class.”
“Germany had to spend billions of dollars re-educating their f–king people to not be Nazis,” Jurek said, after Project Veritas’ journalist asks him whether “MAGA People” could be “re-educated” if Sanders wins in 2020.
“We’re probably going to have to do the same f–king thing here.”
“That’s kind of what all Bernie’s whole f–king like, ‘hey, free education for everybody’ because we’re going to have to teach you to not be a f–king Nazi,” he added.
The CIA, Jurek claimed, has misrepresented the reality of gulags.
“There’s a reason Joseph Stalin had gulags, right? People were actually paid a living wage in the gulags, they had conjugal visits in gulags, gulags were meant for re-education,” he said.
“[The] greatest way to break a f–king billionaire of their privilege and their idea that their superior, go and break rocks for 12 hours a day. You’re now a working class person and you’re going to f–king learn what the means, right?” Jurek added.
Jurek, at another point in the video, suggested there will be violence if Sanders fails to capture his party’s nomination at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.
“If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or it goes to a second round at the DNC convention, f–king Milwaukee,” said Jurek. “It’ll start in Milwaukee and then when the police push back on that, other cites will f–king [explode].”
Jurek also alluded to the 1968 DNC Convention in Chicago, which turned violent after left-wing activists took to the streets.
“Be ready to be in Milwaukee for the DNC convention. We’re going to make  look like a f–king girl’s scout fucking cookout,” he told the undercover Project Veritas journalist. “The cops are going to be the ones f–king beaten in Milwaukee.”
Jurek also said that candidates who make speeches calling “for the elimination of people based on race or gender” deserve a “violent reaction.”
Asked what would happen if Trump was re-elected, Jurek replied: “f–king cities burn.”
O’Keefe on Tuesday accused the Sanders campaign of attempting to conceal its previous praise of Jurek.
Looks like Kyle Jurek has worked with Iowa Co Field Director @brookew_adams and the Sanders Campaign called Kyle a "top-tier organizer."
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 14, 2020
Bernie under fire
The undercover video is the second scandal in as many days for Sanders, who was riding high after a Des Moines Register poll Friday showed him leading the Democratic field in Iowa.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, his chief left-wing rival in the Democratic primary, on Monday confirmed reports that Sanders told her during a 2018 meeting that he did not believe a woman could win the 2020 presidential race.
Sanders responded by telling CNN it was “ludicrous” that he would tell Warren a woman could not win.
Also Tuesday, Sanders welcomed the endorsement of the Clark County Educational Association, an influential teachers’ union in Nevada, another early voting state.
The Sanders campaign has yet to address the Project Veritas video. Neither the campaign nor his Senate office immediately responded to Pluralist’s request for comment.
Sanders has previously faced tough questions about TV interviews from the 1980s, when he was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in which he praised anti-American socialist regimes in Latin America and the communist Soviet Union.