Dem lawmaker to Trump: 'How dare you lecture us about treason'

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesFormer Bad Boy rapper turned politician meets with US lawmakers Watch live: House Democratic leaders hold press conference Congressional staff pay is still too low MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday tore into President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE after he accused Democrats on Monday of "treasonous" behavior during his State of the Union address.

Jeffries said Tuesday that treason is "not a laughing matter" but rather a "serious crime embedded in the Constitution, punishable by death."

"But since your commander in chief chose to raise it at a political rally, let's have a discussion about treason," he said.

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"Is it treason for a presidential campaign to meet with a hostile foreign power to sell out our democracy and rig the election?"

Jeffries further questioned whether it was treason for a presidential campaign to "meet with Russian spies who promise information that was negative about a political opponent and then fail to report that meeting to law enforcement officials."

He appeared to be referring to a 2016 Trump Tower meeting that included Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE, White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE, former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report MORE and a Russian attorney.

"How dare you lecture us about treason. This is not a dictatorship. It's a democracy," Jeffries said.

"And we do not have to stand for a reality show host masquerading as president of the United States."

In a speech Monday, Trump suggested that Democrats not clapping for his address were guilty of treason.

"They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, 'treasonous,'" Trump said Monday.
 
"I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much."

Trump added the Democrats "would rather see Trump do badly than our country do well," saying that was "very selfish."