Elizabeth Warren was seen declining to shake the hand of rival candidate Bernie Sanders at the close of last night's Democratic debate.

The senator also targeted the men onstage over their election losses after earlier claiming Sanders had told her he didn't believe a woman could win this year's presidential ballot.



Recent days have seen the two friends clash over the claims, made this week in a report by CNN and vehemently denied by Sanders.

After last night's debate, Warren was seen approaching Sanders across the stage as Sanders held out his hand.

Warren declined to take it, instead keeping her hands clasped and beginning to speak, seeming irritated by something Sanders had said.

They then had what appeared to be a heated exchange before Senator Sanders raised both hands and walked away.

The two had been seen smiling and shaking hands onstage before the debate, held at Des Moines' Drake University and the last before the Iowa caucus.

As the exchange unfolded, Senator Sanders was approached by fellow candidate Tom Steyer, who appeared visibly taken aback by the tone of the conversation taking place.

Asked about the incident afterwards by CNN's Anderson Cooper, Steyer said: “I was just going up to say good night.

"And I felt like okay, there's something going on here.

"Good night! I'm out of here!"

'DO I BELIEVE A WOMAN CAN WIN? OF COURSE!'

Tensions between Sanders and Warren first emerged over an account of a conversation between the senators in Warren's Washington apartment in December 2018.

Warren is reported to have said she would be a strong candidate against Trump in the 2020 election because of her position on the economy and her broad support among female voters.

Sources to whom she spoke afterwards have alleged that Sanders responded by saying he didn't believe a female Democratic candidate would be able to win.

Warren herself repeated the claims in a statement posted to twitter by her communications director Kristen Orthman.

"I thought a woman could win; [Bernie] disagreed," it read.

"I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry."

During last night's debate, she added: “Look at the men on this stage. Collectively they have lost 10 elections.

"The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women.”

In a statement on Monday, Sanders furiously denied saying a woman couldn't win in 2020.

"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 can't win," he 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."

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"Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016."

The senator did acknowledge saying Donald Trump was "a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could."





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