Twitter immediately fired back at the president for his “outrageous” remarks, saying “we don’t live in a dictatorship or a mornarchy”.
US President Donald Trump has triggered a fresh wave of outrage and condemnation after accusing opponents — who did not applaud during his first State of the Union address — of “treason”.
Speaking at a manufacturing plant in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Monday (5 February), the Republican leader criticised Democratic lawmakers who failed to stand and applaud as he listed his achievements before Congress last Tuesday.
While Trump spoke about immigration, infrastructure and economic gains during his first year in office, many Democrats in the audience remained seated and avoided clapping. In some cases, their unimpressed reactions made waves on social media. Trump reportedly called their reaction “un-American” and “treasonous”.
“It was a game, you know it’s a game. They play games,” Trump pointed out, referring to his opponents. “They were told don’t even make a facial movement… Dead silence. Not a smile.”
He added that the Democrats “would rather see Trump do badly than our country do well”.
“It’s very selfish,” he continued. “It got to a point where I really didn’t even want to look too much during the speech over to that side, because honestly it was bad energy.”
While Republicans applauded throughout his speech as he listed historically low levels of unemployment among African-Americans and Hispanics, Trump said the Democrats remained silent despite the “positive news”.
“You’re up there, you’ve got half the room going totally crazy wild, they loved everything, they want to do something great for our country,” Trump said. “And you have the other side… they were like death and un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not. Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly din’t seem to love our country very much.”
Treason is a capital offense in the USand is punishable by death.
Many Democratic lawmakers and irked social media users immediately fired back at the president for his latest “outrageous” remark saying “we don’t live in a dictatorship or a mornarchy”.
Representative Don Beyer of Virginia tweeted: “@realDonaldTrump doesn’t know what “treason” means. He should study Article III of the United States Constitution, which he clearly hasn’t read. The Founders were concerned that a despot might abuse their powers of office to attack political enemies. Smart people, the Founders.”
Even the official Twitter feed for Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster got in on the action and tweeted the definition of the word “treason”.
“We don’t live in a dictatorship or a monarchy,” Senator Tammy Duckworth wrote. “I swore an oath—in the military and in the Senate—to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap.”
“What will it take for the Republicans to actually stand up to this madness?” One person asked.
Treason: The offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
Not found: Refusal to applaud. #Trumphttps://t.co/MEEZEPLRLH https://t.co/MI9r5KQIgf
ð’Treason’ refers to the crime of trying to overthrow your country’s government or help its enemies during war. https://t.co/5Z9Xkxa1NY
What’s Trump trying to start? A dictatorship?
The president has accused his opponents of “treason” for not clapping during the speech in which he called for bipartisanship and national harmony. https://t.co/gfb4UTzprq
In Ohio @realDonaldTrump suggests democrats who didnât applaud him during #SOTU could be committing treason. âcan you call that treason? I mean why not?â he asked ….
Perhaps Don McGahan can explain it to him?
In 1964, from the outer fringes of the Goldwater right, John Stormer lamented, âNone dare call it treason.â Now, in his buffoonish but still dangerous way, Donald Trump has taken him up on the dare.
The charge that members of the other party are un-American or treasonous is disgraceful enough that anyone in his own party who doesnât denounce Trump for this shares in the disgrace.
Thankfully, there are better quotes from better Republican Presidents. Hereâs one from Theodore Rooseveltâa Republican who earned the applause he receivedâthat Trump might want to consider pic.twitter.com/WAhvB23zGJ
Not clapping = treason
Welcoming clandestine offer of stolen information from a hostile foreign government to your presidential campaign? âThatâs politics!â https://t.co/R48x9JxWno
-accused Democrats of treason for not giving him a standing ovation
-called reporters âenemies of the peopleâ
– questioned the authority of federal judges, &
-declared war on law enforcement officials investigating him
Trump is acting like an autocrat.
Trump calling someone âtreasonousâ is like Nixon calling someone a crook. Colluding with the Russians is treason. Not clapping for Trump is just common sense. https://t.co/Xqr7K6TB9q
To recap, Trump calls conspirin’ with Russia to get dirt on Hillary as “smart politics”, but not clappin’ for his speech as “treason.”https://t.co/0bkfWcCKch
Funny how he didn’t seem to love our country for his first 70 years. Had he done anything even patriotic or service oriented? Ever?
In case Trump doesn’t have a Constitution handy, I went ahead and found the definition of treason from Article 3 for him: pic.twitter.com/q30gzNzjLG
For Trump to accuse elected officials of treason for not applauding his speech is juvenile, pathetic, unpresidential and un-American. Please, Mr. President, stop. We are not North Korea. We are America.
Since Donald Trump thinks its treason to not clap when the President speaks, I thought I’d share this footage of Trump committing treason. pic.twitter.com/i8DUNfFqlP
Trump is attempting to desensitize the American public to the word âtreason.â
Treason is the only crime specifically delineated within the Constitution for a reason: the severity of it and the danger it represents to the republic. https://t.co/QgAUz0IKnN
Trumpâs son Don Jr was accused of actual treason by Steve Bannon in âFire & Fury,â so @realDonaldTrump is trying to muddy the waters by calling Dems Un-American and treasonous for not applauding some line at the SOTU. Thatâs a dictator move.
Dear Donald Trump,
Not standing to applaud the President is not considered “treasonous”. It’s a right afforded to us by the US Constitution.
Working with a hostile foreign power to subvert our democratic election, is in fact a form of treason.
A Concerned Citizen
Today, @realDonaldTrump called Democrats âtreasonousâ for not clapping for him. Meanwhile, Trump is giving âaid and comfortâ to Russia by not imposing sanctions after it engaged in CYBER WARFARE against our election. Thatâs the definition of TREASON according to our Constitution.
It is not treason to hate the president. It is not treason to express that hatred. It is treason to use the apparatus of governmentâlike high officeâto intimidate citizens into not giving voice to their feelings. Trump talks like a dictator because he believes he is one.
Trump: Can we call that treason, why not?
Not clapping for you isnât âtreason.â But donât worry, Mr. President, you could find out the exact definition of treason, pretty soon. #LSSC pic.twitter.com/gOdfspeRXo