WH: Trump Calling Dems ‘Treasonous’ Was ‘Tongue In Cheek’

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The White House said Tuesday that President Donald Trump was being “tongue in cheek” when he called Democrats “un-American” and “treasonous” Monday for not clapping enough during his State of the Union address last week.

That’s what Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesperson, told NBC News about the President’s remark Tuesday morning. The network paraphrased the rest of Gidley’s statement: “The president, Gidley said, was simply trying to make the point that there are positive things going on that all Americans should celebrate regardless of their party.”

Asked for further comment, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told TPM in an email: “Hogan is correct. He was clearly joking. He was making the point that even when good things are happening they are still sitting there angry.”

As the New York Times’ Dave Itzkoff noted, it was a familiar excuse.

During a speech in Ohio Monday, Trump criticized Democrats for not standing and clapping during the State of the Union, even when he addressed positive news.

“That means they would rather see Trump do badly, okay, than our country do well,” he said. “Okay? That’s what it means. It’s very selfish.”

“Un-American,” he said later. “Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.

This post has been updated.

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Notable Replies

  1. “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

    ― Theodore Roosevelt

    Whenever Trump opens his mouth he cheapens the meaning of words, undermines basic principles (of common decency, our constitution, and civilized life), and encourages the worst in human behavior. He is a careless, sloppy, dangerous man, at once a threat and an embarrassment. His lack of virtue stands naked before us, a truly ugly sight. We must turn away in disgust.

  2. Didn’t Trump once say, “I never kid”?

  3. Its more like foot in mouth disease.

  4. Every time he opens his mouth it’s just to change feet.

  5. Avatar for j.dave j.dave says:

    Tongue in cheek! Of course! Anyone could see that! Hahahahahahaha!

    Asshole.

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