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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers 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) SandersAndrew Cuomo: Biden has best chance at 'main goal' of beating Trump Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Buttigieg responds to accusation of pushing a 'hate hoax' about Pence MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezVA 'ain't broke' — but it can certainly be improved The Memo: GOP banks on Biden falling in primary Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment 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.