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Tipsheet

Voter Storms Out of Bernie Town Hall After Trump Accusation

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made one far-fetched accusation too many against President Trump on Monday, causing a voter to storm out of his town hall.

At the Rally for Working Families in Ottumwa, IA, on Monday, an attendee asked Sanders how he would “restore the damage” the Trump administration has done to our relationships with our NATO allies. 

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"What is really quite amazing is in a nation which historically has been a leader in democracy and human rights, which has stood with democratic countries all over the world, we now have a president who is kind of unabashedly an admirer of authoritarian governments,” Sanders began to say.

“Oh come on!” a man in the crowd said. “I’ve had enough of this.”

“Hold it!” Sanders said, in defense. “Excuse me, don’t disrupt a meeting sir. Please sit down.”

He stormed out instead.

“I am in America whether Trump likes it or not, I will state what I believe to be true,” Sen. Sanders continued.

Unfortunately, Sanders ended his answer there, so we don't know exactly which "authoritarian governments" he was suggesting Trump was buddy-buddy with. If I were one of his town hall attendees, I'd turn the question around on Sanders and ask how his "democratic socialist" agenda is different from the brutal socialist regime of Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, which has left citizens starving in the streets. He called Maduro a "vicious tyrant" earlier this year in an interview with Univision's Jorge Ramos, but as some critics noted, he failed to say whether or not Maduro should be ousted and said "no" when asked if his opponent, Juan Guaido, should be instated. The U.S. has recognized Guaido as the rightfully elected interim leader.

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“He is not going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party," Miami Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala, who represents Venezuelan exiles, said of Sanders. "He has demonstrated again that he does not understand this situation. I absolutely disagree with his imprecision in not saying Maduro must go."

Sanders has also praised former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Castro wasn't "perfect," according to the senator, but he "totally transformed" the country. And Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega, who has for years repressed democracy and hunted down protesters, is apparently "an impressive guy."

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