Bernie Sanders Takes ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Victory Lap After Donald Trump Takes Debate Bait


“Last night we had Donald Trump. Tonight, Bernie. I’m interviewing all the candidates so I can decide which one of them will be my running mate,” Jimmy Kimmel said at the top of tonight’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Tonight’s visit by Sanders was a celebration for both men, having made headlines last night when Sanders planted a question on Kimmel’s show, directed at that night’s guest: Trump.

Sanders, via Kimmel, asked Trump if he was willing to debate in advance of the June 7 California primary. Trump gave a flip answer on Kimmel’s show – yes, but he wants to be paid. Trump continued to make light, until asked about it at a news conference this morning. Trump, celebrating news reports he’d clinched enough delegates to secure the GOP nomination, said he’d debate Sanders if it’s a big arena and someone coughs up $10-15M, to “women’s health issues or something.” Trump said more than one TV network had contacted him to discuss.

“Usually, I know Vice Presidents do it the other way around, but I’m not ‘usually’ and this is how I do it,” Kimmel said, before pitching himself to Sanders as the guy who proved last night he can build consensus, not walls.

Sanders, who needs a big showing in California, spent today hyping the Kimmel-brokered debate-for-dollars on Twitter:

…while Sanders reps told Trump, via TV news outlets, he’d better not “chicken out,”  and Clinton scoffed, “It’s not going to happen!”

“Bernie Sanders needs a big victory in the California primary. “Right now, he and Hillary Clinton are in a dead heat, which is not great, because older people sometimes die in the heat,” Kimmel guffawed on his show tonight. “It would be pretty crazy if he wins this thing. My vision of Bernie Sanders on day one, is stacking up all of the money on Wall Street and burning it like the Joker in The Dark Knight.

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