Bernie Sanders: Trump Will Be Inaugurated This Week; Calling Him Illegitimate "Just Words"


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And with that, let me bring in Senator Bernie Sanders, our first guest this morning. Senator Sanders, thank you for joining me this morning.

You know, Congressman Lewis has now been joined by Senator Cory Booker who has also said anyone who attacks Representative John Lewis loses legitimacy, in my eyes, especially someone who made such a craven effort to legitimize Barack Obama. Are John Lewis and Cory Booker right to say that Donald Trump won't be a legitimate president?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: Well, what Cory Booker and John Lewis are right about is to talk about the racist past of Donald Trump.

We all remember that Trump was one of the leaders of the so-called birther movement trying to delegitimize the presidency of our first African-American president Barack Obama, which is an outrage.

So, I think right now, the focus has got to be on how we hold Trump accountable. What has been doing in the last week, attacking Hollywood actresses for criticizing him, I mean what would is this guy living in?

But right now what my job is, and I think the job of Democrats and Republicans, is to protect the middle class and working families of this country from some devastating ideas that Trump has proposed.

You will remember, George...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think Donald Trump will be a legitimate president?

SANDERS: Well, I think he's going to be inaugurated this week. I have great concerns, and apparently Republicans do as well, and there's going to be an investigation about the role that Russian hacking played in getting him elected.

Do I think Russians supported him? Do I think they tried to get him elected? Do I think it worked against Clinton? I do. And that is something that has to be investigated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Does that make him illegitimate?

SANDERS: But right now, what my job is -- pardon me? Those are just words. Right now, what my -- my job is right now going beyond media conflicts and words is to say that Donald Trump, among other things, told the American people he would not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and right now Republicans in the House and Senate are doing just that.

So, I want Trump to send out a tweet saying that he's going to keep his campaign promises. He's not going to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Right now, today, all across this country there are going to be rallies led by Democrats and others to fight against the devastating impact of repeal of the Affordable Care Act. 20 million people thrown off of health insurance, prescription drug prices raising for seniors, privatization of Medicare: devastation. And we've got to fight back against that.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And finally, are you going to attend the inauguration this week?

SANDERS: Pardon me?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you going to attend the inauguration this week?

SANDERS: Yeah, I will. Yes.

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