Trump speech criticised by Bernie Sanders for 'stirring up fear and hatred'

Many commentators have welcomed the speech for being more measured than his previous ones, but the Senator pointed out that a huge amount was left unsaid

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 01 March 2017 05:40
Bernie Sanders responds to what Donald Trump omitted from his State of the Union

Donald Trump is being allowed to "stir up fear and hatred", according to Bernie Sanders.

By inviting the victims of crimes committed by immigrants to his first speech to Congress, the President was attempting to "divide the country", the US Senator said.

"The murder of anyone is a tragedy, and our hearts go out to all families who lose a loved one to violence," he wrote in a Facebook post just before the speech began. "But let’s be clear about what Donald Trump is doing tonight in inviting family members who saw a loved one murdered by an undocumented immigrant.

"He is stirring up fear and hatred against immigrants and trying to divide our nation. That is his political strategy and we must not allow him to get away with it."

Mr Trump went on to use the speech to announce the creation of "Voice", a new government agency that will be responsible for monitoring "immigrant crime" and is expected to publish a weekly list of offences committed by people who weren't born in the US. That announcement was greeted by gasps of shock from politicians.

After the speech, Mr Sanders criticised the President because of what "he didn't say". He said that it was more significant what Mr Trump had chosen to leave out of his speech, in a video posted to Facebook.

He criticised Mr Trump for not mentioning social security or medicare at all, for instance. That was despite repeated promises from the President during the campaign that he would not cut any of those programmes, but there was no such commitment during the speech.

He also pointed to the President's claims that he would "drain the swamp". He said that the swamp is now "big time in his administration", claiming that the government now has more millionaires and billionaires than any in US history.

He ended his video by calling on all of those watching it to stand up to "fight for justice". "Only then can we create the political revolution that will turn this country around", the US senator told his viewers.

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