Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) downplayed a report that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is angry with him for endorsing Hillary Clinton, chalking it up to miscommunication and heightened emotions at the end of a long campaign.
Sanders struggled to pick up the backing of his colleagues in Congress. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) was the only senator who endorsed him; in the House, only Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) came out for Sanders. Politico reported Wednesday that Sanders remains furious with progressives, such as Brown, who chose Clinton.
"Sanders is so bitter about it that he’d be ready to nix Brown as an acceptable VP choice, if Clinton ever asked his advice on who’d be a good progressive champion," wrote Politico, adding that Sanders views these Clinton-backing senators as "cynical, power-chasing chickens."
Brown dismissed this chatter Wednesday, telling Ohio reporters he wasn't even sure if Sanders himself held that view.
"People are always angry at the end of campaigns when they don't win," Brown said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "And I assume that staff people are saying things that Bernie probably didn’t say or didn’t necessarily agree with, so I don't really put much stock in it."
He added that he and Sanders have a good relationship and they've checked in periodically throughout the campaign. He said he's confident the senator will eventually be an "enthusiastic support for Hillary."
Brown is frequently mentioned as a potential running mate for Clinton, as a favorite of the progressive base and coming from the swing state of Ohio.
Sanders' campaign did not return a request for comment.
The Vermont senator has refused to concede the presidential primary to Clinton, even though she has enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Sanders will be in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House and later holding a rally.