(Getty/Win McNamee)

Republicans play defense after Trump says Dems sitting during State of Union was "treason"

Trump called Democrats "un-American" for not applauding him — which is an un-American thing to say


Charlie May
February 6, 2018 1:43PM (UTC)

While speaking at a manufacturing plant on Monday in Cincinnati, Ohio, President Donald Trump suggested that congressional Democrats were "treasonous" and "un-American" because they didn't applaud him during his State of the Union address last week.

"They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, 'treasonous.' I mean, Yeah, I guess why not?" Trump said. "Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn't seem to love our country that much."

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The remarks inevitably drew ire, mainly among Democrats. A blistering response came from Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. — an Iraq War veteran  — who called Trump "Cadet Bone Spurs" and stood up for her First Amendment rights to stay seated.

The reference was to Trump's excuse for avoiding service in Vietnam. Despite claiming to be an excellent athlete, Trump avoided the Vietnam War draft multiple times, citing bone spurs.

The White House defended the president and instead claimed he was just being "tongue in cheek."

It seems as if America elected a true jokester as president. You know, like when Trump joked about thanking Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats or like the time he was only joking when he encouraged police officers to rough up suspects taken into custody.

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Obviously, not standing for the president's speech is simply not a treasonous act, otherwise, Republicans would have been found guilty of the same crime long ago, as there's quite a long history of the opposing party expressing at least some level of disapproval with the president.

Those were points that Rep. Chris Collins — a New York-based Trump supporter — had to field on CNN Tuesday morning. He told Alisyn Camerota that it wasn't "treasonous," but rather "embarrassing. But Camerota had a response for Collins, showing him years of examples where Republicans had the exact same reaction for President Barack Obama. Collins also had to painfully address how his party could stay silent, considering it was a Republican, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who once infamously yelled, "you lie," during a 2009 presidential address.

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While Republicans had to play clean-up, many people expressed outrage at the degradation of American values coming from the mouth of the president.


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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