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* Sanders walks back comment Dem convention will be 'messy' *

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explained he was referring to the democratic process and not a repeat of a recent chaotic campaign event when he said in an interview he expected the Democratic convention to be "messy."

Sanders made the remark one week after some of his supporters staged physical confrontations and wielded chairs inside a Las Vegas casino ballroom to protest the outcome of the Nevada Democratic Convention. Party leaders widely condemned the Sanders supporters' tactics. The candidate himself said he disavowed violence, but defended his supporters, who he said were participating in a state party convention that was not conducted fairly.

Sanders, speaking to NBC's Today show Tuesday morning, said he did not intend to suggest a repeat of Nevada's chaotic scene when the national party comes together in Philadelphia in July.

"The media often takes words out of context. The context of that was, democracy is messy. That people will have vigorous debate on the issues," Sanders said.

Asked whether he believes his continuing to campaign is hurting the party's front-runner Hillary Clinton, Sanders challenged the assumption that elections should not be contested.

If that's the case, he said, "we should go back to a monarchy and not have any elections at all."

"My focus right now is to win the democratic nomination. At the end of the day, we hope to win a majority of the pledged delegates," Sanders said.


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