Donald Trump may have exceeded the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors,” according to critics.
During the Celebrity-in-Chief’s summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Trump refused to condemn Putin and Russia over reports of election hacking — citing “we’re all to blame” for poor relations.
“President Putin just said it’s not Russia,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
On Tuesday during a press conference, Trump attempted to clarify his previous remark. “I would like to clarify, in a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’ The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’” he said.
Trump also went on to ‘accept’ U.S. intelligence agencies conclusions that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” he said before adding that it “could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”
Despite Trump’s abrupt attempt to rephrase his previous comments from Monday’s summit in Helsinki, Finland, he had many critics, including former CIA Director John O. Brennan, calling Trump’s controversial meeting “treasonous.”
“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors,’” Brennan wrote on Twitter. “It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
Speaking of Republicans, the president’s longtime friend and former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich referred to Trump’s meeting with Putin as the “most serious mistake of his presidency.”
“President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin,” Gingrich wrote on Twitter. “It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.”
So the question is, did Trump commit an act of treason by meeting with Putin?
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of “Treason” is:
1 : the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family
2 : the betrayal of a trust
The potential threat of Trump being found guilty of treason would be a first for a U.S. president. The New York Times reports, “no sitting president has ever been formally charged with treason, nor for that matter have many other Americans since the days of Aaron Burr or the political leaders who defected to the Confederacy during the Civil War.”
According to a 2013 The Washington Post report, former President John Tyler was the “the only president to commit a public act of treason against the U.S. government” when he “sided with the South against the Union” and was elected to the Confederate Congress. Tyler later died on January 18, 1862 before taking his seat.
Tell us #BallerNation, if in fact Trump is guilty of treason, do you consider his meeting with Putin the most serious mistake of his presidency? Leave your comments below.