Sanders apologizes to Clinton, supporters for data breach

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Watch Sanders Apologize to Clinton Over Data Breach

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Seeking to quell a burgeoning controversy, Bernie Sanders apologized to Hillary Clinton and his own supporters Saturday night for a data breach that allowed his campaign to access her team's valuable information about voters.

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"This is not the type of campaign that we run," Sanders said in the opening moments of the third Democratic debate. Still, he slammed the Democratic National Committee for briefly cutting off his campaign's access to its own voter files, calling it an "egregious act."

Clinton quickly accepted the apology from Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who is her closest rival in the Democratic race.

Click through images from the Democratic debate:

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12/19/2015: Third Democratic Debate
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Sanders apologizes to Clinton, supporters for data breach
MANCHESTER, NH - DECEMBER 19: Democratic president candidate Bernie Sanders takes the stage at the democratic debate at Saint Anselm College December 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. This is the third Democratic debate featuring Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, waves as she arrives to the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US Democratic Presidential hopefuls (L-R) Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley participate in the Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on December 19, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders, left, Hillary Clinton, center, and Martin OâMalley, right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. At the table are debate moderators Martha Raddatz, left, and David Muir, of ABC News. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Martin OâMalley, right, speaks alongside Bernie Sanders, left, and Hillary Clinton, center, during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Bernie Sanders speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
US Democratic Presidential hopefuls (L-R) Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley participate in the Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on December 19, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders, left, offers an apology to Hillary Clinton during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, arrives to the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US Democratic Presidential hopefuls (L-R) Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley participate in the Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on December 19, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, smiles after walking on stage following a break in the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, left, and Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, share a laugh during a break in the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, left, and Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, share a laugh during a break in the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MANCHESTER, NH - DECEMBER 19: Democratic president candidate Bernie Sanders waits as Hillary Clinton walks on stage at Saint Anselm College December 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. This is the third Democratic debate featuring Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - DECEMBER 19: Democratic president candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at the debate at Saint Anselm College December 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. This is the third Democratic debate featuring Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
2016 Democratic presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, from left, Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, and Martin O'Malley, former governor of Maryland, participate in the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin O'Malley, former governor of Maryland and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin O'Malley, former governor of Maryland and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, right, speaks as Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, listens during the Democratic presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. A Democratic presidential campaign that has looked tame compared to the one being waged by Republicans appears to be taking a sharp turn for the nasty as the three candidates participate in their third debate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton smiles as she walks past fellow candidate Bernie Sanders during a break of the Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by ABC News at the Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on December 19, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Martin OâMalley speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Bernie Sanders speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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Indeed, the debate moved quickly to national security and gun control, as the candidates tackled questions on terrorism in the wake of the attack in San Bernardino, California. The shootings, as well as earlier attacks in Paris, have pushed national security to the forefront of the 2016 White House race.

Still, the data breach appeared likely to overshadow the candidates' policy discussions in some voters' minds. The incident sparked fierce reactions from Sanders and Clinton staffers, a sharp shift from what until now had been a relatively civil Democratic primary, particularly compared to the unpredictable Republican race.

The Democratic National Committee maintains a trove of voter information. The campaigns can add to that database -- information they use to target voters and anticipate what issues might motivate them.

In Clinton's case, campaign manager Robby Mook said that information included "fundamental parts of our strategy." Clinton aides said four Sanders workers reviewed in information in 25 separate searches that included details on voter turnout and candidate preferences, revealing the Clinton campaign's approach in early voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

Sanders' campaign fired a worker involved in the data breach, and campaign manager Jeff Weaver admitted that the worker's actions were "unacceptable." But the campaign rejected the allegations the Sanders team stole data, and it sued the DNC to regain access to the voter information.

Sanders' campaign said its access was restored early Saturday morning.

Clinton and Sanders were joined on stage in New Hampshire by former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has struggled to be a factor in the race. O'Malley was aggressive early in seeking to play a role in the debate, repeatedly talking over moderators.

On national security, the candidates all issued their prescriptions for fighting the Islamic State group, none of them offering policy solutions significantly different from that of the Obama administration. Clinton reiterated her three-pronged plan to launch an aggressive U.S.-led campaign backing Arab and Kurdish ground forces. She also stressed a need for more intelligence sharing.

All three candidates stressed working more closely with Muslim-American communities to tackle radicalism at home.

Sanders sought to stand out on foreign policy by noting his anti-Iraq war stance in 2003. He said he does not support any "unilateral military action" but rather a coalition in which the U.S. works hand in hand with Muslim nations to fight the radical militant group.

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