Sanders rips Trump for 'stirring up fear and hatred' with speech guests

Sanders rips Trump for 'stirring up fear and hatred' with speech guests
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders endorses Oakland teachers strike Dem strategist says Clinton ‘absolutely’ has a role to play in 2020 News media has sought to 'delegitimize' Tulsi Gabbard, says liberal journalist MORE (I-Vt.) criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE’s decision to invite families of people killed by undocumented immigrants to Tuesday night's address to a joint session of Congress.

“The murder of anyone is a tragedy, and our hearts go out to all families who lose a loved one to violence," Sanders wrote in a post on Facebook two hours before Trump was set to speak.

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"But let’s be clear about what Donald Trump is doing tonight in inviting family members who saw a loved one murdered by an undocumented immigrant."

Two of Trump's guests, Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, are the widows of California police officers who were shot in 2014 by a convicted felon who had previously been deported to Mexico, according to the Los Angeles Times. The third guest, Jamiel Shaw Sr., is the father of a teen killed by a gang member who was in the U.S. illegally. 

Sanders questioned why Trump did not invite the families of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the Indian immigrant who was killed in Kansas last week, or the families of the black parishioners killed in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.

Sanders' Facebook post linked to a report by ABC on the president and Melania Trump’s invitation to the widows.

"He is stirring up fear and hatred against immigrants and trying to divide our nation," Sanders continued. "That is his political strategy and we must not allow him to get away with it."

"Trump, any murder is a tragedy. Don't use these tragedies to stir up divisions by race and nationality."