MANCHESTER, New Hampshire -- Bernie Sanders apologized to Hillary Clinton during the third Democratic debate hosted by ABC News on Saturday after revelations that members of his presidential campaign accessed the Clinton team’s private voter data.
The Vermont Senator's remarks come after a bug in the firewall of the Democratic Party’s voter data software allowed four Sanders staffers to search through files belonging to the Clinton campaign.
"Yes, I apologize," he said on stage when asked by ABC's David Muir whether Clinton was owed an apology. "Not only do I apologize, I want to apologize to my supporters. This is not the kind of campaign that we run. If I find anybody else involved in this, they will be fired."
The cordial exchange between the two top Democratic contenders strikes a starkly different tone than the attacks of both campaign's aides over the last 48 hours.
“I very much appreciate that comment, Bernie,” Clinton responded at the debate. “We should move on because I don't think the American people are all that interested in this. I think they're more interested in what we have to say about all the big issues facing us.”
After the breach, top Democrats suspended Sanders’ access to the party’s massive database, including its own data, prompting the Bernie Sanders 2016 to sue the Democratic National Committee in federal court.
Early Saturday morning, the DNC restored the Sanders team’s access to its data, but the lawsuit is still on the books and investigations are ongoing. One Sanders aide was fired after the incident came to light late Thursday night.
But Democrat Martin O’Malley, who is struggling in the polls, wasn’t having it. “David, for crying out loud, our country has been attacked,” he said, pointing to issues that he said were more important. “Instead, we're listening to the bickering back and forth. Maybe that's normal politics in Washington.”
Clinton's staff has called the actions an “egregious breach of data and ethics,” but the Sanders campaign has accused the DNC of being in cahoots with Clinton.