Bernie Sanders says he was briefed on Russian effort to help campaign

U.S. intelligence officials briefed the presidential hopeful last month, he said.
2:28 | 02/22/20

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Transcript for Bernie Sanders says he was briefed on Russian effort to help campaign
officials believe the Russians are not only trying to help president trump get re-elected, that they were working to help Bernie Sanders on the democratic side as well. Sanders was briefed weeks ago and pressed on this a short time ago. Here's what he said tonight. ABC's Jonathan Karl now. Reporter: A stunning development in the heated democratic primary -- Bernie Sanders today acknowledged intelligence officials have warned him Russia is trying to help his campaign as a way to create discord among Democrats and help re-elect Donald Trump. Sanders made it clear today he does not want Russia's help. That is the ugliest thing they're doing is the are trying to cause chaos, they're trying to cause hatred in America. Reporter: Sanders hinted at this during the debate this week when he was asked about the online bullying of some of his more extreme supporters. All of us remember 2016. And what we meant -- what we remember is efforts by Russians and others to try to interfere in our election and divide us up. I'm not saying that's happening, but it would not shock me. Reporter: This comes one day after we learned the house intelligence committee received an briefing that Russia was again trying to meddle in the election to help trump win. Speaking in Las Vegas today, the president attempted to discredit that story by falsely saying Democrats were behind it. They said today that Putin wants to be sure that trump gets elected. Here we go again. Reporter: But this did not come from Democrats. It came from top intelligence officials in his administration who gave that classified briefing to Democrats and Republicans in congress. The president was so angry about that briefing he ousted acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire, who today officially resigned. The president tapped Rick grenell, a trump loyalist with no experience in intelligence, as Maguire's A lot of news tonight. Let's get back to Jon Karl and the breaking headline -- word that the Russians are not only trying to help president trump with his re-election, but Bernie Sanders on the democratic side. And people are taking note of the very different reactions from Bernie Sanders late today, from the president 24 hours ago. Reporter: Very different reactions. The president called it all a hoax. Bernie Sanders on the other hand does not dispute Russia may be trying to help his campaign. In fact he denounced those efforts and said they were not welcome. David? Jon Karl with us. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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