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NY Times Enflames Hillary-Bernie Feud With Report on Neera Tanden Once Punching Current Sanders Aide

As the 2020 presidential contest begins to take shape, the race is stirring up some bad blood among factions of the Democratic Party.

The New York Timespublished an article Monday about Neera Tanden — a former top aide and adviser for Hillary Clinton who currently leads the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank. The story focuses largely on Tanden’s relationship with Faiz Shakir, former chief editor of ThinkProgress (which is owned by CAP), and whether there’s any indication that Tanden has a physically aggressive way of interacting with people.

The Times reports that when Tanden set Clinton up for an interview with Shakir back in 2008, she thought the interview would be an easily handled softball. Instead, Shakir asked tougher questions than Tanden anticipated, so they ended up having a confrontation where she touched him in some way.

From the report:

Ms. Tanden responded by circling back to Mr. Shakir after the interview and, according to a person in the room, punching him in the chest.

“I didn’t slug him, I pushed him,” a still angry Ms. Tanden corrected in a recent interview

Shakir has left his old job to run Sanders’ 2020 campaign, but tensions between Shakir and Tanden rose up again after ThinkProgress published a critical article about Sanders in light of the news that the senator is a millionaire.

In their piece the Times also quoted Tanden’s mother, Maya Tanden, who gossiped that her daughter “can be very aggressive.”

“She’s not going to let anyone rule over her,” she said, “and she has loyalty to Hillary because Hillary is the one who made her.”

“Those Bernie brothers are attacking her all the time, but she lets them have it, too,” Maya Tanden said. “She says Sanders got a pass” in 2016, “but he’s not getting a pass this time.”

Here’s another section where Ms. Tanden said her daughter would soon quit working in politics.

Ms. Tanden acknowledged tensions with what she called “millennial agitators” in her party, but blamed Mr. Trump, who made “crazy, radical ideas seem more normal,” she said in the interview.

Maya Tanden, Ms. Tanden’s mother, said her daughter was “sick of” the nonstop fund-raising and political squabbling. “She said, ‘Another two years and I’m gone, I don’t care what I do,’” Maya Tanden said.

Tanden has noticed all of this, posting a statement from her mother who says she was contacted for the story “out of nowhere,” that she did not realize that her words were being treated as “on the record,” and that the Times “misled” her with how they framed her comments.

Here’s Neera Tanden’s personal response.

[Photo via Getty Images]

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