“I don’t like to spend a lot of time on the president”, Nancy Pelosi sighed, on January 12, asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about Donald Trump’s “Crazy Nancy” tweets. “Everything he says about someone else is a projection”, she added.
Suffice to say the president was doing some more “projecting” on Sunday via the presidential Twitter feed, home to hundreds upon hundreds of manic tweets and retweets over the past 72 hours.
“Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man”, Trump declared. “He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”
You might be inclined to call that a threat.
And you’ll note it’s not the first time Trump has threatened Schiff. Back in September, the president polled his 65 million Twitter followers on whether the House Intelligence chair should be “arrested for treason”. One historical penalty for treason is death, something Trump has emphasized on too many occasions to count at rallies and during other public remarks over the past three years.
Schiff has come under fire over the last two days for imploring GOP senators to muster some courage in the face of what one report claimed is a standing threat from the White House that any Republicans who vote against the president will have their “heads on a pike”.
On Sunday, he chatted with Chuck Todd about the whole thing.
“Look at the president’s tweets about me today saying I should pay a price”, he said, drawing attention to Trump’s balderdash on the off chance anyone had missed it amid the deluge of other tweets the president sent Sunday.
“Do you take that as a threat?”, Todd wondered.
“I think it is intended to be”, Schiff responded.
Irrespective of your own political leanings or penchant for reveling in America’s experiment in soft autocracy, it’s important that everyone (especially lawmakers) drop the charade. That is, if you’re fine with the president threatening sitting members of Congress, then just say so. But there’s no sense in trying to explain this away.
Trump was caught on tape (and on video) in September suggesting that people in his administration should be executed as spies.
Last summer, he repeatedly suggested Ilhan Omar should be forcibly deported to Somalia. (“She hates Jews and loves al-Qaeda”, Trump actually said, at a press conference.)
And if you’re inclined to insist it’s ridiculous for anyone to claim the “head on a pike” bit should be taken seriously, we would gently remind you that last year, Trump’s campaign made an estimated $250,000 selling T-shirts depicting Schiff’s head impaled on a pencil:
They were billed as a bargain at “just” $28.