Donald Trump tweeted Friday that the Democratic primary was being rigged against Bernie Sanders.
“They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously,” Trump wrote.
“They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial.”
Trump did not provide any evidence for his claims of election rigging and failed to mention that candidates Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar have also taken time from the campaign to return to Washington for the impeachment trial.
Sanders responded swiftly on Twitter Friday evening, making it clear that Trump was deflecting from his impending impeachment trial.
“Let’s be clear about who is rigging what: it is Donald Trump’s action to use the power of the federal government for his own political benefit that is the cause of the impeachment trial,” Sanders wrote.
“Democrats are going to unite to sweep him out of the White House in November.”
Trump’s sudden focus on Sanders comes at the end of week where the Vermont Senator has cemented his place at the top of state and national polls.
Recent surveys show Sanders leading in California, New Hampshire, Iowa and New Mexico, as well as an Ipsos/Reuters national poll.
Hypothetical general election match-ups against Trump also show Sanders in a dominant position, with polls showing Sanders ahead of the president by six points in Florida and five points in Michigan.
These match-ups suggested Sanders was the best Democrat to take on Trump in November, with a wider margin over the president than other candidates vying for the nomination.
In another survey released this week, Sanders was found to be the most popular representative in the United States Senate, with an approval rating of 65 percent.