U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) holds up his mobile phone while while speaking August 16, 2015 in Clinton, Iowa.
When Bernie Sanders wants to read the news on his phone, he says he finds popular publications “in my own way.”
That’s because the Democratic presidential contender has no apps to get him there directly.
Sanders made the only somewhat surprising disclosure in an interview with The New York Times editorial board, published Monday. While he reads The New York Times, The Washington Post and “some progressive publications,” among others, Sanders said he does not use apps to access their stories.
Sanders’ lack of apps could have some real benefits for his campaign’s security, preventing him from potentially risky software. Sanders said he also has Melissa to help him with that.
“There is a woman in my office whose name is Melissa who drives me crazy and gets angry at me all the time,” Sanders said when asked about his technology security measures. “Again, we take that issue very seriously, and she works on my phone and my iPad, my computer, as she does for the whole office.”
Sanders has drawn a large base of young of supporters in part by attacking Big Tech companies and advocating for strong enforcement of antitrust laws. So it’s not too surprising that Sanders claims not to have an Amazon Prime membership, either. Asked by a Times journalist if he was a member of Amazon’s delivery and services program, Sanders first responded, “Pardon me?” before saying he was not.
Sanders has been particularly critical of Amazon and founder Jeff Bezos, who according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index is the richest man in the world with a total net worth of $117 billion as of Sunday. Sanders has said billionaires should not exist and proposed a tax plan that would force Bezos to fork over $9 billion per year. Sanders has also criticized Amazon’s treatment of employees and its environmental efforts. He tapped two Amazon employees who claimed Amazon retaliated after they spoke out about the company’s environmental impact.
But the 78-year-old said he does recognize the value of technology, noting his own massive social media following.
“I’ve recognize the importance of being able to communicate directly with 10 million people every single day, which is what we do. Not as much as Trump does, but we do it,” Sanders told the Times. ” I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I am a geek, I’m not.”
Read the full interview at The New York Times.