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Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) isn’t having it with President Donald Trump’s repeated and escalating attacks on the media, calling Trump’s behavior “moral vandalism” and slamming the president’s “assault on the basic ideals of democracy.”
In an interview at Netroots Nation, the progressive conference being held in New Orleans this weekend, Booker was asked specifically about White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ refusal to disavow Trump’s tweets calling the press the “enemy of the people.”
“It’s just a shame that they can’t as a team, the White House team, really denounce that,” the senator told me during the interview, which aired on SiriusXM Progress.
“Just yet another example of the moral vandalism of this president,” Booker continued. “He continues to assault basic ideals of democracy. Those are things that dictators have said. It’s just really hurtful, I think, to anyone who believes in the fundamental freedoms of this country.”
Booker, often discussed as a possible Democratic contender for president in 2020, was also asked about comments by Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), in which the House majority whip ridiculed the progressive conference and Booker himself, claiming in a statement that Booker and other Democrats were “visit[ing] the Big Easy to tout their radical agenda.”
“You know what? I don’t have a response for that,” the New Jersey senator said. “And you know, you don’t need to attend every argument you’re invited to. The reality is that I’m here with incredible Americans who love their country just as much as the people who meet at CPAC [the Conservative Political Action Conference]. We’ve got to stop attacking each other as a country and make other people understand that this nation is a nation for all people, for all ideas, for all religions, for all faiths. All political perspectives are welcome in this country.”
Booker said he has “nothing but good will toward Scalise,” who was shot last June during a baseball practice for congressional Republicans.
“My urgency in this moment is not to attack Republicans,” Booker said. “My urgency in this moment is to try to attack apathy and indifference.”
Booker went on to give an impassioned speech on the main stage, drawing roars from the crowd, warning that something has gone “savagely wrong” in America.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.