A day after Bernie Sanders said that rival Hillary Clinton's email practices raise "valid questions" and appeared to question her character, the Clinton campaign fired back that Sanders and his team were engaging "in the type of personal attacks that they previously said he wouldn't do."
"This has and will remain a campaign about issues for Hillary Clinton, and that's what she'll continue to talk about on the trail," Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin said in a statement to NBC News. "It's disappointing Senator Sanders and his campaign strategists have chosen to change direction and engage in the type of personal attacks that they previously said he wouldn't do."
In an earlier interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sanders suggested that Clinton's email practices were fair game. "If her email practices foiled public-records requests or compromised classified information, those are 'valid questions,'" he said.
And noting some of Clinton's issue reversals - like her new opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord - Sanders told the Journal that consistency on such issues "does speak to the character of a person."
In last month's Democratic debate, Sanders said this of Clinton's email practices: "Let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails,' he said, adding: "Enough of the e-mails. Let's talk about the real issues facing America."
In response to the Clinton campaign's statement, Sanders spokeswoman Symone Sanders (no relation) said: "Bernie Sanders has always said in this campaign that voters deserve to hear about candidate's position on issues. The decision about how that reflects on an individual candidate and their character. We are going to let voters make that decision. He has never launched a personal attack, he does not do that, Bernie believes campaigns are about issues and the positions candidates take on those issues. He will continue to talk about that."