Bernie Sanders says he was willing to give President Trump the benefit of the doubt when it came to taking on Wall Street — one issue both populist candidates were in agreement on during the 2016 campaign. But the Vermont senator says Trump hasn’t lived up to his part of the bargain.
“I have to say this,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday. “I don’t mean to be disrespectful. This guy is a fraud.”
On Friday, Trump took steps to begin dismantling the Dodd-Frank financial regulations that were put into place following the economic crash of 2008.
“I have so many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses – they can’t borrow money,” Trump told reporters. “They just can’t get any money, because the banks just won’t let them borrow because of the rules and regulations.”
“This guy ran for president of the United States saying, ‘I, Donald Trump, I’m going to take on Wall Street. These guys are getting away with murder,’” Sanders said. “And then suddenly, he appoints all these billionaires. His major financial adviser comes from Goldman Sachs. And now he is going to dismantle legislation that protects consumers.”
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Sanders also criticized Trump for filling his Cabinet with people who have vowed to cut health care.
“This is a guy who ran for president saying, ‘I’m going — I’m the only Republican, I’m not going to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,’” Sanders said. “And then he appoints all of these guys who are precisely going to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”
Sanders added, “I hope that all of those folks who voted for Mr. Trump because he — thought that he would stand up for working people, man, this guy is — you know, he’s a good showman. I will give you that. He’s a good TV guy.”
Sanders urged Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to stand up to Trump’s recent barrage of executive orders.
“I would hope that people like Sen. McConnell and other Republicans have the courage to stand up to Trump’s movement toward authoritarianism,” Sanders said. “We’re a democracy, not a one-man show. We are not another Trump enterprise. It’s called the United States of America. We’re not a business run by Mr. Trump.
He added, “I hope that Sen. McConnell, who is a decent guy, conservative guy — I disagree with him on everything. But I would hope that he and his Republican friends will make it clear to Trump that this country belongs to all of us, and it’s not a one-man show.”