Sanders: Trump ‘kind of likes all of these authoritarian leaders’

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMichael Bennet 'encouraged' in possible presidential bid: report House Dems unveil measure to reject anti-Israel boycotts Bannon says an O'Rourke-Harris ticket poses the greatest threat to Trump in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) on Friday accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpClinton and Ocasio-Cortez joke about Kushner's alleged use of WhatsApp Missouri Gov. declares state of emergency amid severe flooding Swalwell on Hicks testimony: 'She's going to have to tell us who she lied for' in Trump admin MORE of leading with "strong authoritarian tendencies," saying that the real estate mogul "kind of likes" despots.  

"We have a president who has strong authoritarian tendencies; who wants to, every day, undermine American democracy," Sanders said on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."

"In my state and all over this country you have men and women who have fought and died to defend American democracy, and this guy looks all over the world and he kind of likes all of these authoritarian leaders."

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Critics have argued that Trump has shown an unusual friendliness to autocratic leaders, like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and often fails to discuss human rights with foreign counterparts — a break from past presidents. 

Trump has, at times, been accused of leading like an autocrat himself, with critics pointing to his frequent attacks on political opponents, the news media and government institutions, like the Justice Department, as evidence.