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President Donald Trump gives thumbs up after arriving on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, May 17, 2019, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to New York. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump is using "treason" rather lightly as he assails unidentified U.S. officials for investigating operatives of his campaign in 2016. There's no allegation or even suggestion that they committed this punishable-by-death crime, if any crime at all.
Trump's hyperbolic characterization echoed at the end of a week of unsupported assertions by the president on trade, the economy, drug prices and more. Meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared inaccurately that no traces of collusion between his country and Trump's 2016 campaign were found in the "exotic" special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller.
TRUMP: "My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!" — tweet Friday and retweet Saturday.
THE FACTS: It wasn't treason. Indeed, his officials have said they have no specific evidence that anything illegal was done when the Trump campaign came under FBI surveillance that was approved by a court.
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