Senator Bernie Sanders responded earlier today to the criticism in The Washington Post he got for calling President Trump a liar.
The piece yesterday was headlined “The sorry state of political discourse right now, in five Bernie Sanders tweets.” It featured this tweet, followed by others in a thread:
President Trump cannot continue to lie, lie, lie. It diminishes the office of the president and our standing in the world. https://t.co/V8cRvX4ttv
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 6, 2017
The piece reaches this conclusion:
This is the state of our political discourse right now. Political norms — like, don’t accuse the president of the United States of lying without evidence, or don’t accuse the former president of the United States of wiretapping your phones without evidence — have been eviscerated. There are no rules right now in politics about what you can/can’t or should/shouldn’t say.
Amber Phillips lists the reasons why the media is being careful not to call Trump a liar, adding, “Top Democrats like Sanders feel no such hesitation. In their mind, the president has become so unhinged that they have no choice but to accuse him of lying ‘shamelessly,’ corrosive effects on political discourse be damned. If you’re a Democrat, they were already up in smoke anyway.”
Sanders responded tonight with a series of questions:
What should a United States senator, or any citizen, do if the president is a liar? Does ignoring this reality benefit the American people? Do we make a bad situation worse by disrespecting the president of the United States? Or do we have an obligation to say that he is a liar to protect America’s standing in the world and people’s trust in our institutions?
Sanders says that he does believe in civil political discourse, but, he argues, “One of my great concerns is that there undoubtedly will be major crises facing the United States and the global community during Trump’s tenure as president. If Trump lies over and over again what kind of credibility will he, or the United States, have when we need to bring countries around the world together to respond to those crises?”
“I find it interesting that Ms. Phillips did not take issue with my facts,” Sanders adds. “Her complaint appears to be that it is improper for a United States senator to state the obvious.”
He concludes by asking, “If the media and political leaders fail to call lies what they are, are they then guilty of misleading the public?”
You can read Sanders’ full response here.
[image via screengrab]
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