CNN Historian: What Trump Did Was 'Clearly Treasonous,' Flashed Guilt

Treason. What started out as the hyperbolic ramblings of a person on the far fringe of the left with Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan, has made its way into the liberal media as a whole. In the hours since President Trump’s press conference in Helsinki, the liberal media’s mouth-foaming rage had only grown worse. And on Tuesday’s CNN Tonight, the network’s presidential historian declared there was little doubt about it: The President committed treason.

The ridiculous segment began with host Don Lemon reading from the Constitution and framing the definition of treason:

Article III in section three of the Constitution says this, “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” So no president has ever been charged with treason, Douglas. Do you believe the President's actions fall anywhere within that definition?

CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley was adamant that what President Trump did on Monday was a threat to the U.S. “[T]he spirit of what Trump did is clearly treasonous. It's a betrayal of the United States. He threw our U.S. intelligence services, flushed them away and it came off as being a puppet of Putin,” he declared. “So the word treason like impeachment, like obstruction of justice, are going to be out there in public discourse louder and longer right now.”

“But it's all going to come down in the end to what the Mueller investigation unearths. But certainly, people are going to say there's the taint of treason around this White House,” he added.

 

 

But Brinkley was disheartened. He lamented that the charge of treason probably wouldn’t stick to Trump due to technicalities:

The problem with the enemy aiding and abetting, Don, is that Russia is not officially right now considered an enemy of the United States. But we also know they had a cyber-attack on us. So Donald Trump's got kind of the slippery slope of legal language in his favor.

A few minutes later, Brinkley asserted that “the bottom line” was that Trump “loves Vladimir Putin” and totalitarianism. “He doesn't mine the trappings of, you know, calling press the enemy of the people. He doesn't seem to promote democracy abroad or free and fair elections because he hasn’t read and he’s largely ignorant of history,” he spat.

He then suggested that Trump’s constant claims of innocence in the matter of collusion was him “revealing” evidence that he was guilty. “How many more times does he have the say the word collusion? That's probably because he feels he colluded,” he proclaimed.

Brinkley then mocked Trump for only energizing the Mueller probe by flashing that guilt. “But nobody now is thinking that Mueller is on a witch hunt,” he boasted. “Actually, we're recognizing more and more what a great service he's doing that we have a backup plan to at least try to get to the bottom of what President Trump was up to in undermining our election.”

This was not a discussion about the news of the day; this was political opponents of a president wringing their hands in anticipation and excitement for his fall.

 

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CNN Tonight
July 17, 2018
10:27:55 PM Eastern

DON LEMON: Article III in section three of the Constitution says this, “treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” So no president has ever been charged with treason, Douglas. Do you believe the President's actions fall anywhere within that definition?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: Well, we had a vice president, Aaron Burr in 1807 who was charged with treason. There was a famous trial, and they didn't feel they had the goods to bust Burr fully. The problem with the enemy aiding and abetting, Don, is that Russia is not officially right now considered an enemy of the United States. But we also know they had a cyber-attack on us. So Donald Trump's got kind of the slippery slope of legal language in his favor.

But the spirit of what Trump did is clearly treasonous. It's a betrayal of the United States. He threw our U.S. intelligence services, flushed them away and it came off as being a puppet of Putin. So the word treason like impeachment, like obstruction of justice, are going to be out there in public discourse louder and longer right now. But it's all going to come down in the end to what the Mueller investigation unearths. But certainly, people are going to say there's the taint of treason around this White House.

LEMON: So James, let's talk about the piece you wrote in The Atlantic. Because you say Trump is either “an agent of Russian interests” or “he is so profoundly ignorant, insecure, and narcissistic that he did not realize at every step he was advancing a line that Putin would want him to advance, and the line that the American intelligence, defense, and law-enforcement agencies most dreaded.” Fair to say that one of those possibilities could be treasonous and one would not?

JAMES FALLOWS: It’s possible. I personally avoid this word and I encourage others to do it too. I'm obviously not giving advice to former director of the CIA. Because I think it leads us into a train where it's really tricky and as Douglas is saying the standards are hard to prove. And it takes attention away from two other things that are very clear.

One is what Donald Trump did two days ago was clearly disloyal. It was clearly putting the interests of Russia and Vladimir Putin above those of the United States, its intelligence services, its military services, the people working in its Justice Department, so it was disloyal plainly. No one can dispute that. The other is while Trump himself it seems cannot help what he does, there are 51 Republican Senators and 230 odd Republican Congress members who have the power to do something about this. They can hold hearings has as they did for the FBI agent recently, they can have subpoenas, they can have motions of censure, they can get to the bottom of this. So, I think it was clearly disloyal and the people who do something about this are the Republican members of Congress who, in the last 30 hours since this has happened have been notable by their absence and their silence.

(…)

BRINKLEY: He keeps confusing about collusion and not collusion. The bottom line is he loves Vladimir Putin. He loves totalitarianism. He doesn't mine the trappings of, you know, calling press the enemy of the people. He doesn't seem to promote democracy abroad or free and fair elections because he hasn’t read and he’s largely ignorant of history. So, he’s operating out of his gut and his gut let him down. (…)

In many ways, President Trump is basically revealing guilt all the time. How many more times does he have the say the word collusion? That's probably because he feels he colluded. (…) And I think now the Mueller investigation is empowered. Trump was starting to nip away at it, Don, of kind of calling it a witch hunt. But nobody now is thinking that Mueller is on a witch hunt. Actually, we're recognizing more and more what a great service he's doing that we have a backup plan to at least try to get to the bottom of what President Trump was up to in undermining our election.

(…)


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