As Allahpundit noted earlier, there were no great options for Elizabeth Warren once this story launched. If she refused to comment, that would only fuel speculation that it was true. If she denied it, that would be tantamount to throwing her own people under the bus. Finally, confirming the story would mean directly contradicting Bernie’s denial and setting up an online flame war with the Bernie Bros. In the end, Warren chose door number three:

So now the ball is back in Bernie’s court. Here’s what he told CNN earlier:

“It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn’t win,” Sanders said. “It’s sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren’t in the room are lying about what happened. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”

So Warren says it happened and Bernie says it’s “ludicrous.” The two leading candidates on the left would now seemed to be locked in a disagreement that can only be put aside by one of them reversing course, i.e. Bernie could admit he said something like this or Warren could retract her claim. But there’s not a lot of wiggle room to smooth this over, despite Warren’s effort to portray it as a side issue.

So where do we go from here?

It looks like we’re about to have a battle between the two camps over who is telling the truth. Here’s Mark Hemingway’s sarcastic take on that question.

Obviously I’m not a fan of either Sanders or Warren, but between the two of them I find Warren less credible. Which isn’t to say that Sanders has a sterling record of honestly. Sanders has not been completely truthful about his historic support for full socialism and for leftists around the globe that sought to create a socialist paradise on earth.

But Warren has multiple strikes against her credibility, starting with her own biography (claiming Native American ancestry, claiming her son attended public schools). She’s also been intentionally weaselly about how she would pay for her Medicare for All plan, claiming she won’t raise taxes one penny on the middle class. By contrast, Sanders has admitted that taxes will have to go up to cover the cost.

So while I don’t like the policy proposals either candidate is pushing, Sanders seems marginally more honest. On the other hand, Warren apparently told her version of the story to at least two people contemporaneously. Is it really possible she set this whole thing in motion more than a year ago only to spring it on Sanders now? That would be much more than a misunderstanding. It would require a Clintonian level of dishonesty.

Fortunately, I don’t have to decide who is telling the truth. That’s up to the Democrats who are thinking about voting for one of these candidates. I can just pick up a pallet of popcorn at Costco and enjoy the show. And I do think it could get ugly because the Bernie Bros are not known for taking things in stride.

Update: I missed this earlier. This was before Warren’s statement.