Chants of 'USA' after Trump says 'America will never be a socialist country'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE pledged during his State of the Union address Tuesday that "America will never be a socialist country," sparking chants of "USA" from GOP lawmakers.

Trump, transitioning from talking about the escalating political crisis in Venezuela, said that he was "alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country."

"We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country," Trump said.

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Trump's mention of socialism drew boos and chants of "USA, USA, USA" from Republican lawmakers.

The remarks appeared to a veiled barb at some progressive lawmakers in the audience, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBernie Sanders to sign pledge affirming he will run as a Democrat Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Hillicon Valley: Microsoft reveals new Russian hack attempts | Google failed to disclose hidden microphone | Booker makes late HQ2 bid | Conservative group targets Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Defense: Graham clashed with Pentagon chief over Syria | Talk grows that Trump will fire Coats | Coast Guard officer accused of domestic terrorism plot Coast Guard lieutenant arrested, accused of planning domestic terrorism Hillicon Valley: Microsoft reveals new Russian hack attempts | Google failed to disclose hidden microphone | Booker makes late HQ2 bid | Conservative group targets Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon MORE (D-N.Y.), who are both self-described democratic socialists.

Ocasio-Cortez was spotted smiling during Trump's comments. Sanders, who was slated to deliver his own response to Trump's speech after the address, sat stone-faced.  

Congressional Democrats are in the midst of fierce debate with a newly resurgent progressive caucus about the best way to take on Trump.