But was it treasonous?
Former director of the CIA John Brennan thinks so.
He tweeted Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanours’.
It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.
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Brennan is referring to grounds for impeachment, outlined by the US Constitution as treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanours.
The Constitution defines treason in article 3, section 3, clause 1 as follows Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
Donald Trump backs Vladimir Putin against US intelligence agencies
What reaches the threshold of bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanours is subject to lengthy legal argument and is ultimately up to congress to interpret should an impeachment proceeding come its way.
It’s unlikely that a Republican-controlled house and senate would even agree that there are grounds for impeachment based on the Helsinki press conference, let alone vote for it.
Brennan knows this. But he wanted to insert the word treason into today’s news cycle and he’s succeeded.
For the moment, it is nothing more than that.
It’s the political fall-out that the Trump administration will be watching far more carefully.
And even by its standards, this is bad.
Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory, wrote senior Republican senator John McCain.
The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate.
No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.
Republicans such as Bob Corker have expressed shock, sadness and disappointment that the commander-in-chief appeared to side with Russia against his own intelligence agencies.
Powerful congressman Trey Gowdy said he was confident that advisers will be able to communicate to the president it is possible to conclude Russia interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimising his electoral success.
Senator Lindsey Graham wrote that the conference was a missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.
This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves.
House speaker Paul Ryan said the president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.
Even Trump’s own director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, issued a statement making his own agency’s findings on Russia clear.
Donald Trump will probably bluster through the criticism by describing it as just another example of the establishment being out to get him.
He may well also note that although some reliable allies have spoken up, there hasn’t necessarily been the kind of rank-and-file GOP outrage that might give him more to worry about.
He will be concerned, however, about the immediate reaction on Fox News, which often finds a way to defend him no matter the circumstances, and has an audience of millions of Trump supporters.
Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney said It was not a very forceful presentation from President Trump with Putin standing right next to him.
Fox’s Neil Cavuto said I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt to maybe jet lag and time differences, but holy moly.
And Abby Huntsman, a Fox News personality and the daughter of Trump’s ambassador to Russia, tweeted No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.
Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts wrote Whoa…. There is an avalanche of you-know-what rolling downhill at warp speed toward Donald Trump over this summit. Republicans – even the DNI – are throwing buckets-full at him.
With the midterm elections just months away, this kind of response is a problem for the president.
If November 2018 goes badly, the balance of power in both the house and the senate could be up for grabs.
Then John Brennan’s words could be more than just an outraged tweet.
News Source SkyNews