On Thursday afternoon, following the public release of the declassified complaint at the heart of the Ukraine scandal, Donald Trump made reference to punishing the whistle-blower’s sources.
“I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy”, the president reportedly said, during remarks to staff from the US Mission to the United Nations.
According to sources who spoke to the The New York Times, Trump then ventured into the macabre. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right?”, he asked, an apparent allusion to executing US government officials.
As it turns out, there’s an audio recording. Or, as James Comey would put it, “Lordy, there are tapes”.
Here is the actual moment when Trump told those in attendance that he misses the “old days”, when “we were smart” and knew how to “handle” treason.
Note the nervous laughter at the tail-end of the recording.
Trump will doubtlessly say he was kidding. He’ll likely cite the laughter as “proof” that nobody took him seriously.
Democrats on the Hill won’t be laughing, you can be sure of that.
Read full coverage: