President Trump, caught in a whirlwind of a scandal of his own creation, is predictably not taking the prospect of accountability very well and is quickly descending into even more dangerous territory by the hour.
In a deeply disturbing outburst, Trump allegedly complained that the whistleblower whose complaint led to the beginning of impeachment proceedings against him was a “spy” and seemingly fantasized about executing him.
While speaking to an audience of staff from the United States’ Mission to the United Nations, Trump complained that “I want to know who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
It’s not hard to guess what “handle a little differently” might mean.
President Trump’s obsession with punishing and disparaging those who are disloyal or otherwise offend him is legendary at this point, but to even intimate violence against a patriot who is taking a stand to expose the president’s crimes is an appalling overreach that should intensify the impeachment proceedings against him.
It’s also worth noting that Trump is not upset here because the grave allegations against him are lies but because the truth was shared. In essence, he is again, confessing to the crimes at the center of the first impeachment inquiry of the 21st century.
But even in, albeit inadvertently, acknowledging his previous crimes, he is committing new offenses. The suggestion that informants against him should be put to death like “in the old days” carries a weight when it comes from the most powerful office on the planet — especially when that office’s holder has openly praised men like Vladimir Putin, Mohammad Bin Salman, and Kim Jong Un who casually murder opponents with regularity.
This is a threat not just to a single whistleblower but to all courageous public servants motivated by morality and patriotism to come forward against corruption and abuse. It is the latest reminder that impeachment is the right and necessary course for a lawless immoral American head of state.