Are people really demanding their money back from Elizabeth Warren?

Yesterday, the Daily Dot reported that the longstanding truce was off between Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Warren seems to have decided to fight fire with fire following reports that Sanders’ campaign was going negative against her, because a story came out that said Sanders told Warren at a private meeting in 2018 that a woman couldn’t win the presidency in 2020.

Warren herself later confirmed the story. If true, such has the potential to alienate a large swath of Democratic voters who may otherwise have voted Sanders.

Sanders, however, refutes the reporting, which first appeared on CNN, and accused Warren’s campaign of lying. Warren has not backed down.

Given a choice between whether to believe Sanders or Warren, many chose the former. Overnight and into the morning #RefundWarren and #ITrustBernie trended on Twitter.

Those tweeting #RefundWarren claimed to have requested her campaign return their donations. Some included screenshots of confirmation emails. Others said that they’d received automatic responses from campaign donation platform ActBlue stating that it was experiencing an abnormally high volume of refund requests.

A Twitter account with the handle @RefundWarren, which launched in 2015 but appears to have either been dormant or deleted all its tweets prior to Dec. 12, 2019, took up the standard of collecting tweets using the hashtag.

The @RefundWarren account has also repeatedly retweeted those using #RefundPete, referring to former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Many, many tweets that used#RefundPete included #RefundWarren; a few have also added #Bernie2020.

Some suspect that the hashtag didn’t come about organically, but was launched or promoted by either the so-called Bernie Bros or Russian troll farms.

For others, the onslaught called to mind the 2016 presidential election, which featured vicious attacks against the Hillary Clinton campaign by Sanders, his proxies and obsequious Bernie Bros. Many have called these attacks misogynistic, an allegation that Warren’s fans are now echoing.

Thanks Bernie Bros for reminding me what misogynistic jerks you are,” tweeted @Marguerite0131.  “Just donated another $50 to Warren in response to all the Bernie Bros trying to trend #RefundWarren,” @MalachiteXIII added. “Get bent, misogynistic a**holes.”

Sanders’ fans pushed back against assertions of misogyny.

Warren’s supporters continued to pledge donations in light of the controversy.

Sanders and Warren will likely have to address the matter head-on at tonight’s Democratic presidential debate.

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Claire Goforth

Claire Goforth

Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.