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Hillary Clinton takes shot at Trump, GOP over Russia — and even invokes treason clause in Constitution

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LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

Hillary Clinton just cannot resist.

The twice-failed presidential candidate made reference to the Constitution's treason clause on Friday while implicitly condemning former President Donald Trump and parts of the Republican Party that she alleged have emboldened Russia's aggression.

What is the background?

During a radio interview this week, Trump described Russian President Vladimir Putin as "very savvy." He also described Putin's decision to declare the independence of two Ukrainian regions as "genius." And regarding the "peacekeepers" — which were Russian soldiers — that Putin sent into those eastern Ukrainian regions, Trump said, "we could use that on our southern border."

Meanwhile, Russian-state media have reportedly used comments from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Fox News host Tucker Carlson for their propaganda purposes.

What did Clinton say?

Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Clinton referred to Trump's comments and said that any American who parrots talking points worthy of being broadcast by Russian propaganda outlets must be called out.

"We have to also make sure that within our own country we are calling out those people who are giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin, who are talking about what a genius he is, what a smart move it is, who are unfortunately being broadcast by Russian media, not only inside Russia, but in Europe to demonstrate the division within our own country," Clinton said.

Clinton's comments implicitly invoked the Constitution's "treason clause," which is found in Article III, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

Hillary Clinton: What's Left Of The GOP Must Stand Against Those Giving 'Aid' To Putin www.youtube.com

Later in the interview, Clinton described rhetoric from Trump and other Republican figureheads as "heartbreaking" and "dangerous," and she repeated the accusation that they are giving "aid and comfort" to Putin.

"I think it’s time for what’s left of the Republican Party that has any common sense not just to say, 'OK, go help defend Ukraine against Putin,' but to stand against those people in politics and government, in the media and elsewhere in our own country who are literally giving aid and comfort to an enemy of freedom and democracy," Clinton said.

Such rhetoric, Clinton claimed, emboldens not only Putin, but also Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"It can’t continue because it plays right into the ambitions of not just Putin, but also President Xi of China to undermine democracy, to literally divide and conquer the West without ever invading us, but by setting us against each other," Clinton said.

Clinton attributed the development of the problem that she identified as happening because "starting with ascent of Trump, there has been, sadly, a total loss of spine and conscience of too many Republicans."

"There is also another element. These people are naive in such a dangerous way," Clinton continued. "I think the naiveté that we saw starting with Trump but which has now been accelerated is really hard to understand. But we have to deal with it, and we have to call it out."

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