Trump answers questions on the White House lawn. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
President Trump has accused people or entities of committing treason at least 24 times since he was elected, according to a Factba.se record of his comments. His most recent target is the New York Times, which published a story on Saturday reporting that the U.S. is stepping up its online attacks on Russia's power grid.
Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country.
Why it matters: Treason is one of the most serious crimes an American can commit, and is punishable by death. The president freely using the term to attack his political enemies, without evidence, is not normal.
The big picture: Trump has most frequently used "treason" or "treasonous" to describe the investigations into his campaign's ties to Russia, which he has claimed are politically motivated. He has also used the term to attack Democrats for their policies on immigration and various media outlets for reporting on his administration.
- Most references come in the form of tweet or interviews with Fox News, but Trump has also accused people of treason while participating in press conferences with foreign leaders, like NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and South Korea President Moon Jae-in.
May 23, 2019 [Speech at farmers event]: "But should she lose, we'll have an insurance policy, and we'll get this guy out of office. And that's what they said, and that's what they meant. That's treason. That's treason. They couldn't win the election, and that's what happened. And that's what's happening right now because -- without the "treason" word, I guess -- but that's what's happening now."
May 20, 2019 [Rally]: "It's his fault, no, it's his fault. Now, we caught 'em. They were spying -- they were spying on our campaign. I'll tell you what, if that ever happened to the other side, this thing would have been over two years ago, and you know it would have been treason. They would have called it treason and that's what it is. It was treason and it should never be allowed to happen to another President again ever, ever, ever."
May 17, 2019 [Tweet]: "My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!"
May 12, 2019 [Tweet]: "The Democrats new and pathetically untrue sound bite is that we are in a “Constitutional Crisis.” They and their partner, the Fake News Media, are all told to say this as loud and as often as possible. They are a sad JOKE! We may have the strongest Economy in our history, best employment numbers ever, low taxes & regulations, a rebuilt military & V.A., many great new judges, & so much more. But we have had a giant SCAM perpetrated upon our nation, a Witch Hunt, a Treasonous Hoax. That is the Constitutional Crisis & hopefully guilty people will pay!"
May 8, 2019 [Tweet]: "Everyone wants to know who needs to be accountable, because it took up two years of our lives talking about this Russian involvement. It proved No Collusion, & people want to trace it back to see how this all happened?” @ainsleyearhardt @foxandfriends TREASONOUS HOAX!"
April 19, 2019 [Tweet]: "...big, fat, waste of time, energy and money - $30,000,000 to be exact. It is now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason. This should never happen again!"
April 10, 2019 [Pool spray with South Korea president]: "And I know a lot of people were very disappointed, but they knew the real answer. You know, when the Democrats go behind the scenes and they go into a room backstage and they sit and they talk, they laugh because they know it's all a big scam, a big hoax. And it's called politics, but this is dirty politics and this is actually treason."
April 10, 2019 [Tweet]: "I think what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS. Their Open Border mindset is putting our Country at risk. Will not let this happen!"
April 10, 2019 [Tweet]: "So, it has now been determined, by 18 people that truly hate President Trump, that there was No Collusion with Russia. In fact, it was an illegal investigation that should never have been allowed to start. I fought back hard against this Phony & Treasonous Hoax!"
April 10, 2019 [Press gaggle]: "And they got caught. And what they did was treason. What they did was terrible. What they did was against our Constitution and everything we stand for. So hopefully that will happen. There is a hunger for that to happen in this country like I have never seen before, including all of the millions of people that voted for me. What they did was disgraceful.'"
April 6, 2019 [Tweet]: "Why should I be defending a fraudulent Russian Witch Hunt. It’s about time the perpetrators of this fraud on me and the American People start defending their dishonest and treasonous acts. How and why did this terrible event begin? Never Forget!"
April 2, 2019 [Pool spray with NATO chief]: "And I hope that's going to continue forward because people did things that were very, very bad for our country and very, very illegal and, you could even say, "treasonous." Okay?"
March 27, 2019 [Interview with Sean Hannity]: "So he didn't want to do anything because he thought that Clinton was going to win and he didn't want to upset the apple cart. But he knew about it. And the question is, one of the many, many questions, and this is probably not as big as other questions, because you are talking about major, major treason and corruption."
March 25, 2019 [Pool spray with Israeli prime minister]: "It's lasted a long time. We're glad it's over. It's 100 percent the way it should have been. I wish it could have gone a lot sooner, a lot quicker. There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things. I would say treasonous things against our country."
Feb. 18, 2019 [Tweet]: “The biggest abuse of power and corruption scandal in our history, and it’s much worse than we thought. Andrew McCabe (FBI) admitted to plotting a coup (government overthrow) when he was serving in the FBI, before he was fired for lying & leaking.” @seanhannity @FoxNews Treason!
Feb. 18, 2019 [Tweet]: "There is a lot of explaining to do to the millions of people who had just elected a president who they really like and who has done a great job for them with the Military, Vets, Economy and so much more. This was the illegal and treasonous “insurance policy” in full action!"
Sept. 6, 2018 [Interview with FOX]: "Well number one, The Times should never have done that, because really what they've done is, virtually, you know it's treason. You can call it a lot of things. But to think that you have somebody in all of the Cabinet, so many people. You know, they came forward, they're writing editorials. They're all saying, you know, it's gotta be at a fairly low level."
Sept. 6, 2018 [Rally]: "I mean, you look at the Washington Post or the New York Times, I can never get a good story. I mean, you look at this horrible thing that took place today, it's really -- is it subversion? Is it treason? It's a horrible thing. Even -- you know the good thing about that? Even liberals that hate me say that's terrible what they did. And it is really terrible."
Sept. 5, 2018 [Tweet]: "TREASON?"
Sept. 3, 2018 [Interview with Daily Caller]: "I mean they were surveilling my campaign. If that happened on the other foot, they would've considered that treasonous. They would've considered that spying at the highest level."
June 23, 2018 [Interview with Mike Huckabee]: "Well, first of all, we came to a wonderful agreement [with North Korea]. It's a shame that the fake news covers it the way they do. Honestly, it's almost treasonous, if you want to know the truth, because we signed an agreement and the big thing that they'd said was I met, okay? You know, there was nothing else they could say. I met. Well, let me tell you we got our hostages back, we get the remains back of our great heroes that have died, thousands and thousands of young people."
Feb. 5, 2018 [Speech]: "It got to a point where I really didn’t even want to look up too much during the [State of the Union] over to that side because honestly, it was bad energy. Even on positive news, really positive news like that, they were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not."
Jan. 11, 2018 [Interview with WSJ]: "And what went on with the FBI, where a man is tweeting to his lover that if she loses, we’ll essentially go back to the—we’ll go to the insurance policy, which is—if they lose, we’ll go to phase 2, and we’ll get this guy out of office. I mean, this is the FBI we’re talking about. I think that is—that is treason. See, that’s treason right there. ... By the way, that’s a treasonous act. What he tweeted to his lover is a treasonous act."