As young people across the nation graduate from high school and college this spring, Vermont's U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is asking them to do one important thing: get involved.
"The challenges that this generation faces are enormous," Sanders said after addressing the 2017 graduating classes at Lyndon State College and Johnson State College before the colleges become Northern Vermont University.
While technological advances are helping to realize cures for diseases, deal with the effects of climate change and generally improve life, he warned he was still "concerned about the attacks we are seeing on democracy itself."
He also argued TRIO, one of the federal education programs that Trump has proposed cutting from the budget, could harm high school students from working class families who dream of going to college, but don't have a clear path to get there.
Cutting TRIO, Sanders said, at "a time when working class kids are finding it harder and harder to get to college because of the cost, to make it more difficult for them to get the support they need makes zero sense to me."
The independent senator, who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, sat down for an interview with "The Take" host Sue O'Connell over Mother's Day weekend, after the firestorm of former FBI Director James Comey's firing but before more shocking news concerning the ongoing Russia investigation and President Donald Trump revealing classified information to Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S.
Sanders said at that point he did not feel it was needed to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
"I think you've got to go where the facts lead you," he said, adding, "I think what Trump did was outrageous. You don't stop an investigation on yourself or on your campaign, but let's go where the facts are and take it one step at a time."
Trump's penchant for lying is making people nervous, Sanders said.
"I don't get any pleasure saying this, but [Trump] lies a lot, and you don't - that's just not right for a President of the United States," he said. "You can disagree with somebody, that's fine, a lot of Republicans out there I disagree with all of the time, but they don't lie. They tell you what they believe. Trump lies a lot, and that concerns me."
Sanders also pointed out that President Trump's attacks on the media and judiciary are worrying both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
"Judges are supposed to be independent to render the best verdicts they can, based on precedent and based on the Constitution," the senator said. "To say that somebody is a 'so-called judge' because they render a verdict against you, you can't do that."
Sanders' independence in the Senate has also given him perspective on why the Democrats lost the 2016 presidential election, of which he was a Democratic primary candidate. He said the Democrats must become a "50 state party" and work with others with whom they may disagree at times.
"I do believe Trump's victory and other Republican victories is the failure of the Democratic party to develop an agenda which speaks to the needs of working families, that's that's what I'm kinda trying to do," he said.