At this point, President Donald Trump appears to live in a self-obsessed reality of his own making. During an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) that aired on Monday, Trump claimed that former President Barack Obama committed treason, which is an absolutely ludicrous assertion that has no relationship to reality. As evidence for his false claims of Obama’s crimes, Trump has pointed to imaginary misconduct that Obama perpetrated against the Trump team through the Russia investigation, and in that same CBN interview, he suggested that if this imaginary scandal unfolded 50 or 100 years ago, Obama administration officials would have been executed. On Tuesday, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis — a Republican who’s facing a tough re-election battle this year — distanced himself from the president’s remarks.
POLITICO reporter Andrew Desiderio shared:
‘Senate Republicans distancing themselves today from Trump’s unfounded “treason” claims against Obama. “I don’t think that President Obama committed treason,” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) says.’
Senate Republicans distancing themselves today from Trump’s unfounded “treason” claims against Obama.
“I don’t think that President Obama committed treason,” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) says.
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) June 23, 2020
Of course, Tillis doesn’t get points for distancing himself from the president’s latest absolutely unhinged conspiracy theory. In the CBN interview, Trump said:
‘It’s treason. Look, when I came out a long time ago, I said they’ve been spying on my campaign. I said they’ve been taping, and that was in quotes, meaning a modern day version of taping, it’s all the same thing. But a modern day version. But they’ve been spying on my campaign.’
What on earth does Trump mean by a “modern day version of taping”? Tapes are still a thing! They’re not antiquated. The president is so self-obsessed that he’s seemingly trying to weasel out of accountability for the brazen falsehood of his claim that Obama “spied” on him by trying to pretend that words don’t mean what they mean anymore.
President Donald Trump once again went after former President Barack Obama, this time accusing his predecessor of “treason.” pic.twitter.com/MuwyKOfUKS
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) June 23, 2020
In that original CBN interview, Trump added:
‘If it was the opposite, two years ago, 25 people would have been convicted and they would be sent to jail for 50 years. And by the way, if it were 100 years ago, or 50 years ago, they would have been executed, but we’re in a different time. We’re in a different time. You understand what I mean by that. They spied on the opposing party’s campaign and we caught them.’
Trump’s claim that the Obama team “spied” on the Trump campaign and was “caught” is false. There was no nefarious conspiracy; there was only a duly proceeding investigation that occasionally included court-approved surveillance of a one-time Trump adviser, Carter Page.
It is staggering that the current president of the United States glibly admits that he thinks that his opponents are guilty of such terrible crimes that they would have been executed if the supposed crimes took place 50 years ago. Trump, who is in his 70s, was a young adult 50 years ago, meaning that he’s basically reminiscing about the “good old days” when it was supposedly easier to put people to death — and even after all of this insanity, there are still Republicans who will support him!
Trump’s conspiracy theories are a danger to the United States. Americans seem attuned to this reality, because presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads Trump in many polls on both the national level and in many individual swing states that Trump won in 2016.