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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran 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 SandersBernie SandersTrump is fighting the wrong war Michelle Obama, Sanders, Kasich to be featured on first night of Democratic convention: report The Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMichelle Obama, Sanders, Kasich to be featured on first night of Democratic convention: report Democratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports Ethics Committee orders Tlaib to refund campaign ,800 for salary payments 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.