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Bernie Sanders sat down with Hollywood movie director Spike Lee for a very candid conversation about guns, earning the Black vote, Donald Trump, and their hometown of Brooklyn.

As extremely important men in their respective fields, the conversation seemed to flow naturally. Like POTUS, Bernie declared: “Donald Trump is not going to become president of the United States. That I can say,” a statement we need to hear as often as humanly possible, if we’re being honest.

This is the perfect interview to get started with if you’re not familiar with the junior U.S. senator from Vermont. Sanders is straight-forward and the issues that are important to him are clear – and as it turns out, also important to us.

Check out a few excerpts below and his chat with Spike in full via the accompanying videos, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Spike Lee: What do you have to do to get the older generation of African-American votes? You’re like the new guy on the block. You’ve got the young Hispanic, African-American, you got it. But the older generation, black folks, they know the Clintons 20-some years.

We’re doing phenomenally well with all of the young people — white, black, Latino, you name it, Asian-American. And we’re getting killed, frankly, not just with older African-Americans but also older whites, older Latinos. It’s the weirdest thing in the world. And what really bothers me is I spent half my life in Congress helping to lead the effort for senior citizens: We led the effort against cuts to Social Security — we want to expand Social Security; we took on the drug companies who are doing terrible things to elderly people. You know seniors are cutting their prescription drugs in half. So we have a lot of work to do in terms of reaching out to seniors, not just African-Americans, but seniors all across the board. We’re figuring out how you get the message out there.

Do you think that Mrs. Hillary Clinton has an advantage with her relationship with President Obama? I mean, what is your relationship with the president?

It’s a good relationship. But let me be very straight about this: This president will go down in history as one of the smartest presidents. Brilliant guy. And especially the more people hear from the Republicans, the smarter they think he is. (Laughter.) But he is also incredibly disciplined and focused. You’re around the media every single day, and you have the opportunity to say dumb things — he does it very, very rarely. He is very focused. He came to Vermont to campaign for me way back in 2006. I worked on his elections in 2008 and 2012 and just was in the Oval Office a couple of months ago. So we have a very positive and, I think, friendly relationship. Is he closer to Hillary Clinton? I suspect. She was his secretary of state for four years.

Bernie, what does Black Lives Matter mean to you?

What it means is that we are all sick and tired of seeing unarmed people shot by police officers. That young people in African-American communities are harassed by police officers, where police departments are not there to be supportive but are in many cases oppressive, and that’s an issue that has to be addressed.

Leave your thoughts below.


Bernie Sanders Chats With Fellow Brooklynite Spike Lee About Guns, Donald Trump, & Black Lives Matter  was originally published on