If you've been online at all in the past week, you've definitely seen the Bernie Sanders Inauguration Day memes sweeping the internet. During Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, a photograph began circulating of the senator sitting on the Capitol steps, waiting for the ceremony to begin and wearing a simple winter coat and mittens. It quickly went viral, as people photoshopped that image of him into every photo imaginable, imagining him waiting in a nail salon or hanging out with fictional characters. Meme lovers will also be happy to know that the senator addressed his viral image during a TV appearance, and Bernie Sanders' response to his inauguration meme explained what was going through his head at that moment.
During an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the talk show host asked the senator if he was aware that he had become the meme of the day.
"I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on," Sanders insisted. But when Meyers showed him a picture of himself photoshopped alongside the Sex and the City cast, he laughed and admitted that he's familiar with the memes, saying: "I've seen 'em."
Meyers also pressed the senator on what was in the plain manilla folder he was carrying at the inauguration. "I'd love to tell you, Seth, but it's top-secret," he joked.
Sanders also used the interview to give a shout-out to Jen Ellis, the Vermont woman who gave him the iconic mittens from the meme. "She is a school teacher and a very, very nice person, and she has been somewhat overwhelmed by the kind of attention that's been shown to her mittens," the politician said.
In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, he also added that he and Ellis plan to capitalize on the meme's popularity for a good cause.
"Not only are we having fun, but what we're doing here in Vermont is we're gonna be selling around the country, sweatshirts and T-shirts, and all of the money that's gonna be raised, which I expect will be a couple of million dollars, will be going to programs like Meals on Wheels to feed low-income senior citizens," Sanders explained.
You can check out the official Bernie meme merch and support the non-profit organization at the senator's official campaign store now.