Thursday 17 August 2017

Ireland feels the Bern as Sanders blasts Trump over 'lies'

Senator Bernie Sanders in conversation with David McWilliams Picture: Conor McCabe
Senator Bernie Sanders in conversation with David McWilliams Picture: Conor McCabe

Alan O'Keeffe

US Senator Bernie Sanders lambasted the record of US President Donald Trump when he told an Irish audience that the US president "lies all the time".

The hugely popular Vermont politician said Mr Trump's budget proposals were "the ugliest and most destructive attack" ever by an American president on the working class, middle class, and poor people of America.

He was loudly applauded during his address to a sold-out event at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.

His speech and one-to-one interview with economist David McWilliams last night was the opening event of the Dalkey Book Festival, which begins in earnest on June 15.

Senator Bernie Sanders meeting President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin. Picture: Maxwells
Senator Bernie Sanders meeting President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin. Picture: Maxwells

Before Mr Sanders (75) was welcomed on stage by Mr McWilliams, the economist said "the magic of Bernie" resulted in tickets selling out in under five minutes.

Mr Sanders said Mr Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Accord was "incredibly stupid and short-sighted and will end up harming the American economy and the world economy".

He said that Mr Trump's assertions that climate change was a hoax is "dead wrong" and his claims are not believed by the majority of Americans.

"How in God's name do you make public policy in defiance of science?" he asked.

He also said Mr Trump was "lying through his teeth" when he said during his election campaign that he was on the side of the working class. He said that 28 million Americans do not have health insurance and Mr Trump's measures would result in a further 23 million losing their health cover.

He said he was very concerned by Mr Trump's constant attacks on the US media as he continually branded TV networks and news outlets "fake news".

"We have a president of the United States who lies all the time," he said.

The senator also defended his decision to back Hillary Clinton's campaign once he conceded to her after attacking her policies for months.

He said he worked very hard because he believed Mr Trump's election would be a "disaster" for America.

Asked by Mr McWilliams whether he would run again for the Democratic nomination for president, he replied: "I don't know."

Earlier yesterday, Mr Sanders and his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders paid a visit to Áras an Uachtaráin where he was welcomed by President Michael D Higgins and his daughter Senator Mary Alice Higgins.

Irish Independent

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