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'Trump took London Mayor's comments out-of-context to promote his divisive Muslim ban'

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders talked Trump, climate change and the future of politics in Dublin tonight.

Updated 10.30pm

BERNIE SANDERS HAS accused Donald Trump of presiding over ‘incredibly stupid’ decisions on climate change and of backing some of the worst legislation he has ever seen, covering healthcare, in a speech in Dublin tonight.

The independent Vermont Senator was at the Grand Canal Theatre in part to promote his book – ‘Our Revolution: A Future to Believe in’ – as part of the Dalkey Book Festival.

He began his appearance by expressing his condolences to the families of those killed and injured in the recent Manchester and London attacks – telling the audience the world needed to work together to defeat terrorism.

He repeated several times during the event – which took the form of a speech, followed by a one-on-one interview with festival organiser David McWilliams – that countries needed to step-up their sharing of intelligence, in order to keep track of extremists.

During a section of his speech assessing Trump’s performance in the White House, he took issue with the President’s attack on London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

As part of a statement in the wake of last night’s terror attack, which claimed the lives of seven people and injured dozens, Khan told citizens that “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed.”

Trump took to Twitter to take issue with Khan’s choice of language, saying:

At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!

tr5

Speaking to his Dublin audience, Sanders said that the Mayor of London had tried to send out a message of reassurance, and that Trump “took his statements way out of context”.

The President had used the opportunity to “promote his divisive Muslim ban,” Sanders told the crowd.

Climate change

Regarding President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, which the Republican announced this week in the face of overwhelming international opposition, he said it was “not only incredibly stupid but it will also end up hurting the American economy and in fact the world economy”.

The decision was “dead wrong,” Sanders said – adding:

“How in God’s name do you make public policy in defiance of science?”

Not withstanding Donald Trump, please do not think for a moment that most Americans do not understand the severity of this crisis.

Addressing domestic US issues, Sanders said that the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare was some of the worst lawmaking he had come across in his long political career.

Trump had “lied through his teeth” in last year’s election campaign, he said – and continues to “lie all of the time”.

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Sanders said several times throughout his speech that the Trump administration did not represent the views of America.

American people, he said, are “finding it very strange that we have a President who seems to be more comfortable with autocrats and authoritarians than with leaders of democratic nations”.

However, he added, the real estate developer’s election had resulted in a “level of grassroots activism in reaction to Trump” that had not been seen for generations.

bern1 Source: Conor McCabe Photography Ltd

Sanders’ appearance in Dublin tonight follows a three-day speaking tour of the UK, where he drew parallels between the grassroots movement that has defined Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour, and his own much-better-than-expected run in the Democratic primaries last year.

He won’t be in the country long – but arrived early enough today to fit in a visit to the Áras and a chat with President Michael D Higgins.

The Senator’s wife, Jane O’Meara-Sanders, also sat down with a pair of genealogists to try and trace her Irish roots (a near-obligatory activity for the family of any American politician visiting the country).

Read: Sanders says Trump has ‘opened the floodgates’ for private prisons to profit >

Read: ‘Trump posed as a champion of working families and it’s beyond belief that he could do that’ >

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Daragh Brophy

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