Bernie Sanders is doubling down on calling U.S. President Donald Trump a liar, clarifying that his stance isn’t just about partisan politics. Sanders spoke out Sunday morning, comparing Trump to former President George W. Bush, saying that his differences of opinion with Bush never led him to question the 43rd President’s honesty.
With Trump, however, Bernie indicated that it’s different — a matter of false statements rather than simply political differences.
On Friday, Bernie Sanders spoke to CNN, laying into Donald Trump about statements from the election as well as during his time as President.
Sanders declared Trump “delusional” for claims that three million illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 election.
“Nobody in the world believes that is the case. There is zero evidence to back it up. But he makes that statement.”
Speaking to CNN, Sanders also said that anyone who has followed his political career knows that he doesn’t call people names just for disagreeing with him, but that he believes in Trump’s case, the labels are warranted.
As news that Sanders had slammed Trump with such harsh labels as “pathological liar” and “delusional” circulated over the weekend, the former candidate for Democratic nominee tweeted to reiterate both the criticism and the clarification that it isn’t merely a political disagreement.
I disagreed with President Bush all the time. I never called him a pathological liar. He was just conservative. But Trump lies all the time.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 12, 2017
Sanders doubled down on the assertion that Donald Trump’s presidency is not a matter of “politics as usual” but something outside the normal bipartisan bickering — a unique situation deserving of concern.
We are in a pivotal moment in American history. We have a president who is delusional. He is a pathological liar.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 12, 2017
Fox News reported on the claim Bernie Sanders is referring to — when Trump asserted that he had lost the popular vote due to 3 million illegal immigrants voting for Hillary Clinton. The news org said that Trump had stated this again to congressional leaders in January, though Fox‘s own follow-up had found no evidence for the claims when Trump made them in November.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Despite Bernie Sanders’ hard line on Trump’s level of honesty, he has spoken about working together and supporting any policies on which Sanders and Trump agree, saying that he will fight any that he sees as harmful.
“To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”
However, in the three weeks since Trump was sworn in as President of the United States, Sanders has actively campaigned against much of the 45th POTUS’ political activity, as well as against his rhetoric and public statements on a number of issues.
Calling Trump delusional and a liar was a step out of Bernie’s usual politics, in that the Vermont Senator has not run a campaign centered around name-calling or insults, but many of Sanders’ other criticisms of Trump could be read as insulting as well as political — such as whenSanders said Trump didn’t understand the U.S. Constitution or democracy.
A president who attacks media that makes critical remarks about him as “fake news” does not understand what democracy is about.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 11, 2017
A president who attacks a judge who rules against him as a “so-called judge” clearly does not understand what our Constitution is about.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 11, 2017
Still, this too is part of the more explicit and direct condemnation of the sitting President that Sanders has been engaging in throughout this week. On Monday, Sanders began by saying, “I don’t mean to be disrespectful…” before calling Trump a fraud and detailing what Sanders shows as a reversal of the “drain the swamp” and “take on Wall Street” positions Trump asserted during the election.
“Then suddenly he appoints all these billionaires, his major financial adviser comes from Goldman Sachs, and now he’s going to dismantle legislation that protects consumers.”
Donald Trump was going to drain the swamp. Well guess who's running the swamp now: the same Wall Street guys.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 12, 2017
However, Bernie Sanders isn’t just freely engaging in attacks on someone across political lines — he’s also calling for reform of his own party, saying that the Democratic Party must end “politics as usual” in order to oppose what he calls Trump’s “…dangerous and unconstitutional actions.”
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]