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

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesHarris holds first meeting in ceremonial office with CBC members Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Congressional Black Caucus unveils '100 Day Plan' MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday tore into President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend 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 TrumpTrump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged Donald Trump Jr. attacks Cheney at CPAC: 'Lincoln Project Liz' MORE, White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerBiden to speak with Saudi king 'soon' as pressure builds for Khashoggi report Biden to speak with Saudi king ahead of Khashoggi report: report Former Trump officials eye bids for political office MORE, former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortProsecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik New York court rules Manafort can't be prosecuted by Manhattan DA 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."