White House says Trump was only joking about treason

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WASHINGTON (AP) The White House says President Donald Trump was speaking "tongue in cheek" when he said congressional Democrats could be guilty of treason for refusing to applaud his State of the Union address.

Spokesman Hogan Gidley says Mr. Trump "was obviously joking" when he made the comments during an economic speech in Ohio on Monday.

Gidley says that what is serious is that it seems Democrats have put their personal hatred for Trump above their desire to see the country succeed.

Mr. Trump promoted tax cuts during Monday's appearance at an Ohio manufacturer. He characterized the lack of a response from Democrats to the State of the Union as "un-American." Trump also asked: "Can we call that treason? Why not?"