Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on Democrats who refused to applaud him during his inaugural State of the Union address.

Speaking at a GOP event in Ohio, the president accused Democrats of behaviour that could amount to "treason".

"You're up there, you've got half the room going totally crazy — wild, they loved everything, they want to do something great for our country," Trump said. "And you have the other side — even on positive news, really positive news like that — they were like death. And un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, 'treasonous.' I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not! I mean they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much."

But the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi hit back at Trump saying; "Every American should be alarmed by how Donald Trump is working to make loyalty to him synonymous with loyalty to our country. That is not how democracy works."

It comes amid already sour relations between Democrats and Republicans following the recent government shutdown.

Another short-term spending bill will need to be agreed to avoid another shutdown this week- but key issues such as support for immigrants and funding for a border wall continue to stifle talks.

Many congressmen from both sides of the political divide want to enshrine immigrants' rights in law, but to strike a deal, the Republicans want extra funding on border security, an area Democrats disagree on.

Trump has frustrated proceedings so far, at times seemingly in favour of reform to help immigrants while at other times attacking policy that could assist them.

Trump also used his State of the Union address to criticise North Korea, which he described as "cruel, depraved and oppressed".

Watching Trump speak in the Capitol were the parents of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died just days after his release from a North Korean prison last year. They received standing ovations at the annual address after Trump paid tribute to them.

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Trump has accused Democrats who failed to applaud him during his State of the Union address of "treasonous" behaviour Win McNamee/Getty Images