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PolitiFact: Sorry, Mr. President, but the Constitution is pretty clear about treason



PolitiFact staff
Friday, February 09, 2018

During a speech near Cincinnati on Monday, Donald Trump said that at the State of the Union address, Democrats, “even on positive news . . . were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not?”

Our ruling

Trump said that at the State of the Union address, Democrats, “even on positive news . . . were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not?”

There’s a good reason why not: Declining to applaud the president doesn’t come anywhere near meeting the constitutionally defined threshold of treason, which in any case can’t occur except in wartime. Rather, legal experts agree that it is a clear case of constitutionally protected free speech.

We rate the statement Pants on Fire.

To read the full fact check, go to politifact.com.