If you study Donald Trump’s words and tweets long enough, there’s a danger that you’ll become as whacked out as he is. But if you can survive studying the guy’s vomiting verbiage without going off the deep end yourself, certain patterns become abundantly clear. One of them is Trump’s almost clinical habit of projection. If he’s guilty of something, and particularly if he thinks he’s going to get caught, he randomly accuses someone else of doing that precise same thing.
So it’s notable that when Trump began ranting today on Twitter about leakers, after having been fairly quiet for the past several days, he jumped straight to accusing them of treason. There are a few specific scenarios in which the White House could be committing treason, but really, most of them are just committing fireable offenses and nothing more. Yet Trump doesn’t see it that way.
Here’s what Trump tweeted about the leakers in question: “The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!” Apparently he’s not only decided that “over exaggeration” is two words, but that it also needs two spaces in the middle – which tells us that he probably did write this tweet, even as most of his tweets lately feel like they’ve been written by his staff.
So yeah, Donald Trump has given away that he’s worried about being tried for treason. This is a remarkable development, considering that treason charges are very rare and generally require an act of war to be involved. It’s possible that Russian government hacking of the election could be considered an act of war accordingly, but it’s far more common for people to be charged with Conspiracy against the United States instead (see: Paul Manafort, Rick Gates). But Trump doesn’t know anything about criminal law, and wouldn’t know any of this. Perhaps his new attorney Emmet Flood has explained to him just how dire his legal situation is.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report