President Trump is suddenly using the word ‘treason’ a lot


Margaret Sullivan said it best on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” telecast: “Just when we think it really can’t get any worse… when he uses terms like ‘enemy of the people’ or ‘fake news…’ This actually ratchets it up.”Yes, indeed. President Trump is now accusing news outlets of “treason” when he doesn’t like the stories they publish. On Saturday night he said the “Failing New York Times” committed a “virtual act of Treason” by reporting that the “United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia.” He said the story was “NOT TRUE,” but treasonous. Hmmm.Trump’s casual use of the word “treason” is a relatively new development. He tweeted it for the first time last September, in response to the anonymous “senior official” op-ed, also in the NYT. He has used it on Twitter half a dozen times this year. He has also said it repeatedly in interviews and speeches, per But as Sullivan said, this really ratchets it up. On “Reliable,” Samantha Vinograd said his tweet about the NYT is talking about “executing journalists,” because treason is a death penalty offense. I wouldn’t go that far, but her point is well taken. What he’s saying is nonsensical, but because he said it, the NYT decided to reply…File this under “statements that news outlets should never have to make:””Accusing the press of treason is dangerous,” the NYT responded. “We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns.”Max Boot told me the real story is that Trump’s own aides “don’t trust him” — the paper says the president has apparently been kept out of the loop about the cyber attacks against Russia’s electrical power grid. Here is CNN’s recap…Thank you, ABCOn Sunday night, ABC shared “unedited transcripts of the president’s exclusive interview with ABC News from ‘The Beast,’ the walk to and in the Oval Office and the Rose Garden.” Here you go…Highlights from the ABC transcripts– In the interview, Trump continued to say he did not want Robert Mueller to be fired: “You know why? Because I watched Richard Nixon go around firing everybody, and that didn’t work out too well.”– Once a producer, always a producer: Mick Mulvaney coughed while Trump was answering a Q about his “fantastic” financial statements. “Let’s do that over,” Trump said. “He’s coughing in the middle of my answer. I don’t like that, you know. I don’t like that. If you’re going to cough, please leave the room. You just can’t, you just can’t cough.” Then he tried to restart his answer. Here’s the video…– Maggie Haberman tweeted: “Trump again claims Putin would rather have Clinton in office in ABC interview. Putin said at press conference with Jeff Mason and Jon Lemire that he wanted Trump to win.”On this Father’s Day……We still don’t know exactly how many children have been separated from their moms and dads at the US-Mexico border. While Trump made a big show of ending the so-called “zero tolerance” policy one year ago, “separations are still taking place,” the NYT’s Caitlin Dickerson told me on Sunday. There are “no rules, even to this day.”→ The main point: Dickerson said “there’s a lot that we don’t know” about family separations and migrant detention facilities. She said “faulty data” is one of the challenges of the beat…→ Dickerson’s “The Weekly” story, “The Youngest Known Child Separated From His Family at the U.S. Border Under Trump,” aired Sunday night on FX. Her story is in print on Monday. This separation happened when the baby was just four months old. Dickerson said “he spent five months separated from his parents. He’s almost two now, and he’s still not able to walk on his own, or to speak.”Media week ahead calendar– Monday morning: Toronto celebrates the Raptors victory…– Monday evening: The pre-taped MTV Movie & TV Awards air on MTV…– Monday night: James Corden begins a week of “Late Late” in London…– Tuesday: Global Fact 6, “the largest fact-checking event in history,” gets underway in Cape Town…– Tuesday evening: Trump’s formal 2020 kickoff event in Orlando…– Wednesday: Hope Hicks speaks behind closed doors with the House Judiciary Committee. Per CNN’s calendar, “she’s the first member of Trump’s inner circle to go before the panel as part of its investigation into possible obstruction of justice…”– Thursday: Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show for Russian citizens…– Thursday evening: The NBA draft begins…– Friday: “Toy Story 4” is here!– Sunday evening: “Apollo 11” premieres on CNN…Cannes Lions weekVia Quartz: “The Cannes Lions advertising conference — or, International Festival of Creativity, if you will — takes place this week on the French Riviera.” They are publishing a special daily newsletter from the beaches and villas. Per the NY Post’s Alexandra Steigrad, the “headline speakers at the five-day fest, which starts on Monday, include Jeffrey Katzenberg, Shonda Rhimes, Jeff Goldblum, Kerry Washington, Gayle King, Laura Dern, Chrissy Teigen, Sheryl Sandberg and Lorne Michaels.” She quotes Cannes “grand poohbah” Michael Kassan saying “the biggest story is everybody grasping and grappling with the need to change the model to be direct-to-consumer…”→ The Post also has a full list of the parties here…FOR THE RECORD– Proud husband shoutout: My better half Jamie is moderating an event about “the high cost of miscarriages” and complexities of pregnancy loss… It’s a partnership between NY1 and The Wing… it’ll be livestreamed on FB and Twitter Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET… (NY1)– Read more of Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter… And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox…– LA Times exec editor Norman Pearlstine “revealed in a piece for the newspaper on Sunday that a college girlfriend experienced a ‘botched abortion’ before the US Supreme Court legalized the procedure…” (CNN)– Pearlstine’s message: “Men cannot be silent on abortion rights…” (LAT)

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