Trump retweets image of US deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein behind bars 'for treason'

'Now that Russia collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?' message shared by president reads

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 28 November 2018 16:19 EST
Donald Trump says he could end Russia probe: 'I could fire everybody right now'

Donald Trump has retweeted a mocked up image of a range of people the president considers enemies behind bars, including the US deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

The tweet, which was posted by an account called The Trump Train, also includes Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Robert Mueller, with the caption: "Now that Russia collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?"

Minutes earlier, Mr Trump posted on the social media platform to attack the mainstream media and Mr Mueller's investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

From left to right: Robert Mueller, John Podesta, Rod Rosenstein, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Huma Abedin, James Clapper, Bill Clinton, James Comey and Loretta Lynch

"While the disgusting Fake News is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief," he wrote.

"This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!"

Rumours were rife before the midterms that Mr Trump was set to fire Mr Rosenstein, who was charged with overseeing Mr Mueller's investigation, after the then-attorney general Jeff Sessions recused himself.

Mr Trump has publicly railed against Mr Rosenstein's refusal to end the probe in the past, but said last month he had a "great" meeting with the lawyer aboard Air Force One.

The president also retweeted three further posts by the Trump-supporting Twitter account, which included attacks on illegal immigrants, CNN, and General Motors (GM).

One particularly inflammatory tweet Mr Trump shared said: "Illegals can get up to $3,874 a month under Federal Assistance program. Our social security checks are on average $1200 a month.

"RT if you agree: If you weren't born in the United States, you should receive $0 assistance."

It is not clear where the claim about illegal immigrants receiving thousands in federal assistance comes from, but it could originate from a widely debunked allegation about refugees receiving the payment in Canada.

The president's sharing of the tweet also suggests he believes only people born in the US should receive government financial assistance.

Brian Klaas, an American political scientist at University College London, told The Independent Mr Trump's "pushing for political rivals to be jailed" was an escalation in his "dangerously authoritarian behaviour".

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"Rod Rosenstein has been a bulwark of the rule of law against Trump’s attempts to politicise it as a weapon to prosecute his opponents and protect his political allies," he said.

"And now, simply for properly doing his job, the president is pushing the message that Rosenstein should be in jail. It’s extremely dangerous for the foundations of American democracy to politicise rule of law like this."

Mr Trump later retweeted a pair of month-old posts accusing Ms Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the 2016 presidential election, of racism.

One tweet, by right-wing activist Charlie Kirk, said: "Hillary said 'all black people look the same' - incredibly racist thing to say Hillary!"

The post was accompanied by a video in which Ms Clinton mocked an interviewer for confusing former attorney general Eric Holder and senator Cory Booker, who are both black. The comment was widely reported at the time.

He also shared a post from a mock Mike Pence Twitter account, which read: "I'm thankful for every day Hillary Clinton is not President!"

Mr Trump next turned to attacking GM for its plans to halt production at a number of factories in three states - two of which opted for the billionaire in the last election.

"The reason that the small truck business in the US is such a go to favorite is that, for many years, Tariffs of 25% have been put on small trucks coming into our country," he wrote.

"It is called the 'chicken tax.' If we did that with cars coming in, many more cars would be built here and G.M. would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland."

"Get smart Congress. Also, the countries that send us cars have taken advantage of the U.S. for decades. The President has great power on this issue - Because of the G.M. event, it is being studied now!"

The White House has been contacted for comment.

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