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CNN’s John Avlon on Trump Hyping Bernie: ‘It’s a Trap’ to Make a ‘Radical’ Democratic Socialist the Nominee

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CNN Senior Political Analyst John Avlon offered a “reality check” in which he informed viewers that President Donald Trump has been promoting Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ candidacy because Trump wants to run against an “actual radical” who calls himself a “Democratic Socialist.”

On Tuesday morning’s edition of CNN’s New Day, co-anchor Alisyn Camerota introduced Avlon’s “Reality Check” segment by noting that “Team Trump cannot seem to stop talking about Bernie Sanders, and it turns out there’s a good reason for that.”

Avlon then played several clips of Trump promoting Sanders’ chances in the Democratic primary, saying “I think people like his message, he’s got energy, his people have energy, but they like his message.”

He also noted assertions by Trump and his son that the primary is “rigged” against Bernie, and the mini-movement of Republicans voting for Sanders in open Democratic primaries.

“And that movement has picked up steam, with South Carolina Republicans pushing their people to vote for Sanders in their primary,” Avlon said, then asked “So why are all these Team Trump folks suddenly feeling the burn?”

“Well, as Admiral Ackbar might say,” Avlon said, then pointed to the screen next to him, which featured a clip of the squid-like military leader who somehow manages to live quite comfortably in regular air.

“It’s a trap!” the now-deceased Adm. Ackbar said, in a famous clip from the film Return of the Jedi.

“And the reason is the s-word: Socialism,” Avlon said, then cited a New York Times column and some polling data on the unpopularity of the socialist label.

“So given all of this, it’s no surprise that Donald Trump wants to run against Bernie Sanders,” Avlon said, adding “And don’t take my word for it, as an unknown unnamed Trump advisor told Axios, ‘We’re trying to promote Bernie’s rise. The campaign has been pumping up the national messaging behind Bernie because when you attack his policies it gets the media to talk about him.'”

“This isn’t subtle folks,” Avlon continued. “Sanders deserves credit for firing up the base and shifting the debate within the Democratic party, but team Trump understands their path to reelection will be demonizing Democrats as radical socialists to distract from the president’s broad unpopularity. That’s why they want to run against an actual radical and self-described democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders.”

“It’s a trap,” Avlon said, then added “And that’s your reality check.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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