Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) suggested on Sunday that Republicans are to blame for the federal investigation into allegations that his wife, Jane Sanders, committed fraud in obtaining bank loans to secure a land deal while she was president of the now defunct Burlington College.
The FBI is also probing whether Bernie Sanders used his political influence to help secure the loans.
CNN host Jake Tapper asked Sanders if he, or anyone in his Senate office, had contacted the bank involved in the deal to help approve loans.
"The answer is absolutely not," the Vermont senator responded before defending his wife's tenure at the college and blaming political opponents for the investigation.
"In fact, let's be clear: five years after my wife left Burlington College, and she left it in better shape than it had ever been in, five years after, guess what happened?" Sanders said. "Right in the middle of my presidential campaign, I know this will shock the viewers, the vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party who happened to be Donald Trump's campaign manager raised this issue and initiated this investigation."
Sanders added that the person who made the claims against Sanders refuted his allegations.
"So I think what you're looking at is something the Republican National Committee is very excited about," Sanders said. "My wife is perhaps the most honest person I know. She did a great job at Burlington College. Sadly we are in a moment where parties not only attack public officials; they have to go after wives and children."
Sanders and his wife recently retained a lawyer as the investigation began to intensify.
Burlington College is now permanently closed, with some blaming the school's downfall on Jane Sanders.