U.S. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders responded late Tuesday night to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address to Congress and the American people, calling him "compulsively dishonest" and a "bully".
In a 21-minute long speech streamed on social media, the Vermont senator went through multiple promises made and not fulfilled by Trump since his 2016 election campaign and also pointed out issues he should have talked about but did not during the address. Sanders asked "how can he not talk about the reality that Russia, through cyberwarfare, interfered in our election in 2016?," and questioned his relationship with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
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The major party in opposition traditionally broadcasts a rebuttal speech following the U.S. president's annual state of the union address, which is delivered to a joint session of Congress and sums up achievements and goals. Sanders has gone ahead and delivered his own for the second year in a row.
Trump used the hour-and-20-minute speech, given annually by presidents to Congress, to try to overcome doubts about his presidency at a time when he is battling a probe into his campaign's alleged ties with Russia and suffering low job approval ratings. Trump made no mention of the federal probe into whether his campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election, a controversy that is dogging his presidency. Trump has denied collusion and has called the probe a "witch hunt."