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Milbank writes: "Trump has, by now, declared that virtually all those who have criticized him are guilty of the capital crime of treason. The group has just been expanded to include not just all Democrats, all journalists and several Republicans, but also some members of his own administration."

Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Treason? Why Not!

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post

12 September 18


’ll write the real book!” says President Trump, vowing to counter the “scam” Bob Woodward has just published.

This is no idle threat. By the time his presidency is over, he may be the only one left to write a book. The rest of us will have gone to the gallows.

Trump has, by now, declared that virtually all those who have criticized him are guilty of the capital crime of treason. The group has just been expanded to include not just all Democrats, all journalists and several Republicans, but also some members of his own administration.

“This is treason,” Trump informed his then-economic adviser, Gary Cohn, when Cohn attempted to resign after Trump’s nice words for neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, according to Woodward’s book.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, likewise, was pronounced a “traitor” by Trump for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Two Benedict Arnolds in one young administration? Make that three. “TREASON?” Trump asked via Twitter after an unnamed administration official criticized him in a New York Times op-ed last week. “Is it subversion? Is it treason?” he asked the next day. He answered his own question on Fox News: “Virtually, you know, it’s treason.” Trump regarded a personal embarrassment as a national security threat.

Woodward has left us with so many troubling images of Trump — incompetence, erratic behavior, ignoring advice — that it is a close competition to determine the most worrisome. I nominate Trump’s Louis XIV-style belief that he is the state, that his self-interest and the national interest are the same.

News he doesn’t like is “fake.”

Actions he doesn’t like are “illegal.”

People he doesn’t like are “traitors.”

Trump says the famed journalist and author should be disbelieved because “I don’t talk the way I am quoted.” But Woodward’s Trump sounds exactly like the Trump we hear daily.

During a Sept. 3 interview with the Daily Caller, Trump suggested that the so-called surveillance of his campaign was “treasonous.” On June 23, he told Mike Huckabee that coverage of his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was “almost treasonous.” On Feb. 5, after congressional Democrats’ failed to applaud for him at the State of the Union, he said: “Can we call that treason? Why not?”

On Jan. 11, he told the Wall Street Journal that FBI agent Peter Strzok’s text messages to his mistress were “a treasonous act.” He has also embraced the view that Hillary Clinton, leakers and Republicans who didn’t support him in the 2016 election were traitors.

If criticism is a capital offense, we must consider the awkward possibility that several current and former Trump administration officials are on the hangman’s dance card. In Woodward’s account, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Trump had the understanding of “a fifth- or sixth-grader,” Cohn described him as a “professional liar,” then-lawyer John Dowd told the president that he was “not really capable” of answering a prosecutor’s questions, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron,” and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly called him an “idiot.”

Advisers, worried about “his erratic nature, his relative ignorance, his inability to learn,” treat him like a man-child, distracting him from the geopolitical equivalent of sticking his finger in an electrical socket.

Trump knows the consequences of calling somebody a traitor. “You know what treason is?” Trump once declared. “That’s Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for giving the atomic bomb, okay?” (Actually, that was espionage.)

Therefore, in hopes he will commute my sentence, I submit the following draft for the jacket copy of Trump’s forthcoming version of his presidency, “The Real Book”:

Before Donald Trump became president, there was 42 percent unemployment, most of the residents of Chicago had been murdered, the violent gang MS-13, led by Nancy Pelosi, controlled much of the country, President Barack Obama personally tapped Trump’s phones and Ted Cruz’s father assassinated John F. Kennedy.

Then, in November 2016, Trump won a bigger electoral landslide than Ronald Reagan’s, despite millions of fraudulent votes for his opponent. Immediately, American carnage ceased, every African American got a job, the economy became “soooo good, perhaps the best in our country’s history,” and Trump was more popular than Abraham Lincoln.

Despite the fact Trump had Made America Great Again, Democrats, aided by the failing New York Times, the Amazon Washington Post and fake-news CNN, used a phony dossier to start a rigged witch hunt. There was NO COLLUSION, but leaking liar James B. Comey, mentally disabled Jeff Sessions, angry conflicted Democrat Robert S. Mueller III, so-called judges, the corrupt FBI and the “Justice” Department made Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!

Fortunately, Trump summarily declared them all guilty of treason, did the same to the rest of his opponents and then assembled the largest audience ever to witness an execution, period. Now he is president for life and, when he speaks, people sit up at attention.

Preorder today! Or face dire consequences.

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-86 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-09-12 13:12
More flatulence from the WashPo. I swear. Down at the WashPo they have sealed all the windows and doors so as to create a perfect reality-free atmosphere. Bob Woodward sits on a throne and bestowes blessings on all the junior reporters who write what he likes.

Really, there is nothing of any value coming out of the WashPo now. It is back to full on Watergate.

The WashPo's story on the Strzok Page "media leak strategy" is just mind blowing. The FBI/DOJ had (and likely still has) a strategy of leaking information, often false, to media like the WashPo so they will publish it and continue the narrative. Strzok and Page are laughing at what suckers the WashPo are. (never mind that this is a felony).

The WashPo reports that this is a Trump conspiracy:

"Trump’s latest, highly premature Peter Strzok conspiracy theory"

"President Trump and his allies have lodged a new accusation against former FBI agent Peter Strzok, seizing upon text messages in which Strzok and Lisa Page discussed a “Media Leak Strategy."

As usual, the interpretation is quite premature and very possibly wrong."

The texts messages were discovered by congress. Trump has nothing to do with this. But the WashPo got caught publishing fake news given to it by some real "conspirators." Now it is blame shifting.
+13 # Porfiry 2018-09-12 14:05
Are not the quotes in the article direct quotes? If so, how can one say they are not true? The original fictional Rodion Raskolnikov was guilty of a horrendous crime. Could his namesake also be so in his defense of the Russians and their interference in our elections? Perhaps some would venture to call that treason?
+6 # MidwestDick 2018-09-12 14:36
I nominate you for the John Baron "Honest Journalism" award.
-2 # Robbee 2018-09-12 14:36
Treason? Why Not!, Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, 12 September 18

- as robbee always says - "fuck trump, if he can't take a joke!"
+13 # HenryS1 2018-09-12 15:01
RR sounds like he would like a chance to get paid more for confusing things. But I don't think he is ready to be a big-time propagandist. He is very good at distraction, however. And he has the playbook down: if your "side" is shown to have lied/committed a crime/been convicted of a crime, immediately invent a similar but false event and attack the attacker. Use quotes and fact-like bits of text to pad it, and emotionalize it with over-the-top crude mudslinging like "flatulence" to describe accurate journalism. Invent derogatory names, and at all costs stay far away from the topic you are distracting from.

I wonder if he hopes someday to work for Fox News? Then he would have achieved professional recognition.
-12 # PABLO DIABLO 2018-09-12 16:12
AW, come on, give Rodion a break. He is more informed than most people in this comments section. It is almost a knee-jerk reaction to give him thumbs down. I agree that the WAPO and NYTimes are visceral in there hatred of Trump and often write meaningless diatribes against him, but they were happy to promote him when he was running in order to increase their readership. YEP, give me thumbs down too.
+2 # Krackonis 2018-09-12 20:44
You are supposed to viscerally hate fascists. It's kinda the thing the Allies do.
+14 # Bruce-Man-Do 2018-09-12 16:27
Rasky, baby, sometimes you're refreshingly original, with thoughts worth considering. But sometimes, like today, you just rave as incoherently as our Orange Mussolini.
+8 # giraffee23 2018-09-12 16:43
the offense of attempting to overthrow the government of one's country or of assisting its enemies in war; specifically : the act of levying war against the United States or adhering to or giving aid and comfort to its enemies by one who owes it allegiance.

Trump + Putin!

0 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-09-12 20:38
Pere Ubu in the White House.
+2 # Dale 2018-09-13 11:16
Describing Herr Trumpet fuhrer. His White House and security advisors came and went in desperation. His Secretary of State, in October 2017 referred to Trump as “a fucking idiot.” -Trump promotes a culture of cruelty and a contempt for civic literacy, We have a “predatory President,’’ a macho who acts to create a “predatory planet.” Militarism, fervent nationalism, threatening interventions and war everywhere. The persistent name-calling of terms like misogynist, homophobic, and sexist and racist pig went around the internet.
-For Trump governance is a theatre of self-promotion, absurdity, and a dark and fearful view of the world and its goings-on.
- He referred to the Nations of Africa and Haiti as “shit hole" countries. ...Separated kids from desperate parents,
-A psychiatrist submitted a new definition of mental illness to the American Psychiatric Association, Trumpitis.
-Calls for mobilization against immigrants, non-whites, “ragheads,” “niggers,” and “queers.”
-One internet site stated, “Trump is a vile, lying, racist, sexist, petty, bullying, and deeply cruel son of a bitch.” -Thanksgiving Is Over, but There is Still a turkey in the Black House.
-In a Twit, Trump denounced as fake news reports that he had asked a porn star to spank him with a copy of Forbes magazine. Donald Shrill Trumpet; Herr Trump, Der Fuhrer; Der Gottfater alle weiseen menschen; El Señor Presidente Comandate en Jefe; El Duce; Fraud; ego-maniac; narcisistic; Kelptocrat
+3 # mashiguo 2018-09-13 15:26
For Trump, "Treason" = I don't like you.

For TDS, "Treason" = I dont' like Trump.

It's a fool's errand to bring up this word. It is constitutionall y defined, and there are no circumstances on any side where it is applicable.

The reason we aren't making any progress on policy is exactly this:

"Trump has the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader."

The same can be said for all the attacks leveled against him. Not a whiff of frontal cortex anywhere in the mix.

Meanwhile, the neocon circle jerk continues unabated while the hoi polloi persist in their peurile palaver.

To update the famous Joe Hill: "Don't whine, organize!"

... like that will happen in the midst of the pro/con Trump media bonanaza.
+1 # LionMousePudding 2018-09-13 22:08
There is a huge problem with Woodward's book. If you buy it, you have a hideous red Trump closeup on your coffee table or bookshelf.

For that one reason I will buy it on Kindle
+3 # relegn 2018-09-14 06:36
It's interesting that our Supreme Leader uses the word "Treason"in describing his critics. Perhaps he suffers from a guilty conscience.

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