Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says he was not the person who sent an apology email to Black Lives Matter activists and believes an apology is unnecessary.
During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," the Democratic presidential hopeful was asked about the apology email that BuzzFeed obtained.
"Well, that was sent out by a staffer, not by me," Sanders responded. "Look, we are reaching out to all kinds of groups, absolutely ... But on this issue of Black Lives Matter, let me be very clear. The issue that they are raising is a very, very important issue. And there is no candidate for president who would be stronger in fighting against institutional racism, and by the way, reforming a broken criminal justice system."
Sanders stressed the need for "real changes" to the system before "MTP" host Chuck Todd raised the question again.
"You said a staffer put it out, but you felt an apology was necessary?" Todd asked.
"No, I don't," Sanders said. "I think we're going to be working with all groups. This was sent out without my knowledge."
The email -- sent out by the campaign’s African American outreach director, Marcus Ferrell -- called for "a more formal interaction" between the Black Lives Matter movement and Sanders. "I apologize it took our campaign so long to officially reach out," Ferrell wrote.
Watch the video above.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated that protesters interrupted Sanders twice this month. Black Lives Matter protesters first interrupted him at the Netroots Nation conference in July.