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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates MORE (I-Vt.) on Friday accused President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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.