Liberal activists turned to Twitter to suggest President-elect Donald Trump was nearing the line of treason with his Friday praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I don’t think Trump committed treason with this tweet, but he’s in the neighbourhood,” tweeted ThinkProgress Editor Judd Legum.
Trump said earlier that Putin made a “great move” by choosing not to respond to sanctions leveled by President Barack Obama’s administration this week in retaliation for suspected election-related hacking.
The president-elect’s message was retweeted by the Russian Embassy in the US, a move that poured gasoline on the already controversial tweet.
“What’s the threshold for treason?” DeRay McKesson, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist who briefly ran as a Baltimore mayoral candidate this year, wondered aloud.
“I hope you get charged with treason you melted Hostess snack cake,” tweeted an MTV News writer.
Others echoed the sentiment.
“This is borderline treasonous,” said Jamil Smith, a senior national correspondent at MTV News. “I don’t know what Putin has on this cat, but my Lord, it must be incredible. God help us.”
“Not helping on this whole treason thing, are you, buddy?” Eric Garland, a research analyst, rhetorically asked.
John Aravosis, a Democratic digital strategist, said Trump was displaying “un-American behaviour.” When a Twitter user accused him of being overly dramatic, Aravosis replied that he found “skirting with treason pretty dramatic.”
Trump has been reluctant to blame election-related hacking on Russia, despite US intelligence agencies saying the country was behind the cyberattacks.
Instead, the president-elect has repeatedly suggested he would like the US to have a warmer relationship with Russia and work together on issues like combatting terrorism.
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