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Axios inadvertently claimed on Twitter Wednesday that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was “seeking medical release from a life sentence in prison.”
The tweet, which has since been deleted, mistakenly referred to Sanders instead of Bernie Madoff, who is currently serving 150 years in prison for stealing billions of dollars through financial fraud.
“Bernie Sanders is seeking medical release from a life sentence in prison because he’s in the final stages of terminal kidney disease, he told the Washington Post,” the tweet said.
oh..... my god pic.twitter.com/Ab31vjWHjc— kate conger (@kateconger) February 5, 2020
After being bombarded with comments, Axios quickly deleted the incorrect tweet. When users continued to bring up the mistake, Axios replied that “it’s been a long day.”
it's been a long day 🙁— Axios (@axios) February 5, 2020
Although Axios fixed the issue, Twitter users could help but poke fun at the media outlet.
“Dr. Freud just called from beyond the grave on the now-deleted tweet,” Twitter user @k8em0 wrote.
Dr. Freud just called from beyond the grave on the now-deleted tweet ... 👀 pic.twitter.com/CJ4vOO9PjS— Katie Moussouris (@k8em0) February 5, 2020
hell of a mistake on first run— fakestuffedtiger (@fakestuffedtigr) February 5, 2020
big yikes on the original tweet— Pavan Suresh🌹🔥 (@surepav) February 5, 2020
Some even joked that President Donald Trump might intervene to help the convicted criminal.
“Trump will release him,” Twitter user @JonSmyth01 quipped.
Trump will release him. 😐— Jon Smyth (@JonSmyth01) February 5, 2020
Next up, a presidential pardon and the medal of freedom. Isn’t that how it works now?— Chris J R 🇨🇦 (@Chris_J_R) February 5, 2020
seeking pardon from #mobsterpresident— Vicki50 (@VickiFong50) February 5, 2020
For the record, Sanders does not have terminal kidney disease and is currently running for president of the United States. Madoff, who carried out the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, is currently in federal custody.
As the Axios story states, Madoff is seeking an early release from prison due to medical issues. Madoff’s attorney, Brandon Sample, has stated that his client has been given less than 18 months to live.
It appears unlikely that Madoff will be released given the severity of his crime, which saw everyone from celebrities to charities defrauded.
Gregg Felson, one of Madoff’s victims, didn’t appear too concerned about Madoff’s condition when speaking with the Washington Post.
“He’s terminally ill? I’m terminally broke,” Felson said. “He deserves no leniency whatsoever.”
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.