White House Says Trump Was Only Joking About TreasonTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Washington (AP) -- The Latest on President Trump's feud with congressional Democrats (all times local):
The White House says President Donald Trump was speaking "tongue in cheek" when he said congressional Democrats could be guilty of treason for refusing to applaud his State of the Union address.
Spokesman Hogan Gidley says Trump "was obviously joking" when he made the comments during an economic speech in Ohio on Monday.
Gidley says that what is serious is that it seems Democrats have put their personal hatred for Trump above their desire to see the country succeed.
Trump promoted tax cuts during Monday's appearance at an Ohio manufacturer. He characterized the lack of a response from Democrats to the State of the Union as "un-American." Trump also asked: "Can we call that treason? Why not?"
President Donald Trump's suggestion that Democrats who didn't applaud his State of the Union are "un-American" and possibly treasonous has triggered an uproar among Democrats.
Among those pushing back is Ilinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee veteran of the Iraq War. She tweeted this week a reminder that Trump had deferred service during the Vietnam War for bone spurs.
She wrote: "We don't live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. 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."
President Donald Trump has accused Democrats of being "un-American" and possibly "treasonous" for failing to applaud during his State of the Union speech.
Trump is also accusing Democrats of not wanting to secure the nation's borders, saying, "They don't care about the security of our country."
The president's remarks Monday came a week after he stood before the nation and called for a new era of bipartisan cooperation.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi responded that Americans should be alarmed that Trump "is working to make loyalty to him synonymous with loyalty to our country."