During a speech in Cincinnati on Monday afternoon, President Trump called Democrats who didn't applaud during his State of the Union address "un-American" and "treasonous."
Trump said that Republicans "were going crazy wild" during his speech, but Democrats were insufficiently enthusiastic. "They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, 'Treasonous.' I mean, yeah, I guess, why not," he said to laughter. "Can we call that treason? Why not?"
One reason why not would be that it's not the definition of treason, but no one in the appreciative crowd pointed that out.
"I mean they certainly didn't seem to love our country that much," continued Trump, concluding it was "very, very sad."
Hours later on CNN, conservative commentator Bill Kristol called the president's remarks "the definition of what it means to be a third-world country."
"The President of the United States calling the other party treasonous? That is literally the definition of what it means to be a third-world country" - @BillKristol on Trump's remark towards some Democrats https://t.co/XTxywu6Kqu pic.twitter.com/FhtmNLrUfB— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) February 5, 2018
Trump was speaking at a manufacturing plant to promote the newly passed GOP tax plan. “When I signed the tax cut six weeks ago, it set off a tidal wave of good news that continues to grow every single day,” Trump said. “Before the ink was dry, companies were announcing thousands and thousands of new jobs and enormous investments to workers.”
“Your paychecks are going way up,” the president continued. “Your taxes are going way down.”
Over the weekend, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) deleted a tweet boasting that the tax plan was saving one woman $1.50 a week, more than paying for her annual Costco membership.
The White House said the president's appearance was "not a political event." But while the president talked up the tax cuts, he devoted a significant portion of the non-political event to criticizing Democrats, particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and drumming up GOP hopes for the 2018 midterms. "[Pelosi]'s our secret weapon," Trump told the crowd. "No, she's our secret weapon. I just hope they don't change her," he said, claiming some Democrats "want to run her out" of the speakership.
While Trump spoke, the stock market dropped steadily. It closed down more than 1,100 points, the biggest single-day point drop in history. Trump had taken credit for the stock market's run-up, calling it a success measure of his presidency.