In the strange political world of the Donald Trump party politics, Republicans appear to be frozen in a thick opaque coat of silence. When the president was investigated, tried, and convicted of impeachment, only one senator squeezed out along the edge to speak against POTUS. The former presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R-UT) knew he would suffer the consequences. Yet, something has changed.
When Trump accused President Barack Obama of a crime punishable by death, he took a step too close to the edge of the ledge. That tapping sound everyone hears is Republicans chiseling cracks into their coat of silence. This is what happened.
POTUS accused Obama in a Christian Broadcasting Network interview Monday:
‘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.’
Trump’s defenders usually hand him the “ignorance” excuse. In this instance, though, the president clearly understood he knew the traditional punishment for traitors — death. He said, according to The Vanity Fair’s The Hive:
‘I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy … You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.’
Trump continued, according to CNN:
‘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. I just hope I get tremendous evangelical Christian support.’
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) is up for reelection in November and may lose his seat. He said, according to The POLITICO:
‘I don’t think that President Obama committed treason.’
The Constitution defines treason very narrowly:
‘Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.’
The longtime friend of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) Lindsey Graham (R-SC) slid right up to the new president, became his minion. He even refused to defend his friend against Trump. McCain could not defend himself, because he died of brain cancer. It was enough to make the man from Arizona haunt the South Carolina senator.
Yet, Graham said in response to reporters questions:
‘I don’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t have any evidence to believe he committed treason.’
Graham, a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve colonel, continued saying that he had to “know more about the facts:”
‘I don’t make accusations like that until I know more about the facts. I don’t have any evidence to believe [Obama] committed treason, but I do believe what happened after the election with surveilling General Flynn was very problematic and I’d like to know more about it. I understand President Trump’s frustration, but be careful what you wish for. Just be careful what you wish for.’
White House officials sent out people to say that the president had been joking. It did not sound like a joke, and Trump spoke perhaps the truest words of his presidency. He told reporters on Tuesday:
‘I don’t kid.’
Another senator with a seat in play, Susan Collins (R-ME) has recently become much more critical of the president:
‘[O]bviously, he shouldn’t have said that.’
Trump spoke about how the U.S. Connecticut attorney John Durham probed into how the Russia investigation had been implemented. Durham also looked into whether there was “enough evidence to indict former Obama administration officials:” An unsmiling Trump continued:
‘I never met Durham because I want to stay out of it, because otherwise it’s going to look political. Let’s see what’
Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) laughed at the question when he was asked about POTUS joking:
‘It’s a silly, comedic thing, and you guys got to stop taking it all so seriously. I don’t think the former president committed treason.’
A staunch Trump supporter, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) commented:
‘I’ve got more important things to worry about.’
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has been investigating the Obama White House’s actions between the time Trump was elected and when he took office, from November 2016 to January 2017:
‘The president speaks for himself. I’m looking at the corruption with the transition process, which I think is evidently true. And we just need to figure out all that did happen so that the American people understand it, so hopefully it’ll never happen again. I’m not going to respond to what the president said.’
The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) faces a powerful opponent in his upcoming November race. The self-described Grim Reaper said he was the one who stood at the door of the Senate to catch all the bills the House sent over said:
‘Every week, you all try to get me into a running commentary on the president’s comments about a variety of different things.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.