Senator Bernie Sanders didn’t hold back at a speech on Wednesday, lashing out at the President for his “racist” and “sexist” behavior. While speaking at the nonprofit National Action Network meeting, the Vermont senator condemned the president and called for progressive to confront the reality of the situation, according to the Hill.
“But we must be honest and straight-forward and say that we have a president who is a racist,” Sanders said.
“A president who is a sexist. A president who is a homophobe. A president who is a xenophobe and a president who is a religious bigot. And it gives me no joy to tell you that. But that is the simple truth and we’ve got to confront that truth.”
The Senator, who many expect to run for President in 2020, also compared Trump’s remarks to the history of racism and misogynistic discrimination in the country. He did not specify which comments he was referencing, but he said that discrimination has been a part of the country since “before slavery.” He went on to mention the treatment of Native Americans and time during which women were not allowed to vote, saying that the country would not return to this type of prejudice.
“And the religious bigotry we’ve seen… That’s part of our history,” Sanders continued.
“And if we are saying to Donald Trump today… Mr. Trump, we are not going backwards, we are going forward.”
Sanders was met with applause from the audience for his comments.
Reverend Al Sharpton also spoke at the conference. During his speech, he said that the president has “declared war” on minorities.
The president has received broad criticism for attacking journalists April Ryan of CNN, Yamiche Alcindor of PBS NewsHour, and White House reporter Abby Philip, all of whom are black.
“You ask a lot of stupid questions,” he said to Phillip.
“The past two years have been filled with assaults on the media and Donald Trump’s comments this week have reached an all-time low with attacks on three black female journalists. His dismissive comments toward journalists April Ryan, Abby Phillip and Yamiche Alcindor are appalling, irresponsible, and should be denounced,” the National Association of Black Journalists said.
Trump has also attacked California Representative Maxine Waters, calling her a “low-IQ individual.”
The National Action Network is a civil rights organization founded by Reverend Al Sharpton. The organization holds an annual legislative and policy conference. This year, the conference featured Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kamala Harris, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, among others.