Jon Voight is one of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters in Hollywood. When the 78-year-old actor was confronted earlier today by a reporter from TMZ, Voight did not hold back when he described the behavior of anti-Trump celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Shia LaBeouf as treason.
“It’s been destructive, very serious,” Voight said. “This marching against the government and against the president.”
The reporter questioned Voight as to whether he thought the first amendment protected such speech, and Voight explained that while he did agree that the first amendment protects people’s rights to this speech, he paradoxically called the speech treason, which is a crime under the U.S. criminal code.
“It is what the first amendment’s all about,” Voight said. “But what was the march about? The march was against the government and against this president, trying to denigrate his office and his presidency, and that’s no good. And when you see the young people like Shia LaBeouf and Miley Cyrus, and they have a lot of followers, young people are looking at them, and they’re teaching them treason. They’re teaching to go up against government, not accepting the will of the people on this presidency, and it’s a very sad day when I see this.”
Jon Voight is most likely mentioning Shia LaBeouf in response to an anti-Trump performance art piece that LaBeouf is involved in outside the Museum of Moving Images in Queens, New York. According to Art Net News, the performance piece involves a 24-hour live stream of a performance art space that anyone can enter to express their feelings about Donald Trump being president in front of the camera. Voight did not elaborate as to why something like that would be treasonous.
Miley Cyrus has been a vocal opponent of Donald Trump. She famously threatened to leave the country if Trump was elected, and more recently an Inquisitr article reported that Cyrus is putting her wedding plans on hold for now in response to Donald Trump’s election. Miley Cyrus also participated in the Women’s March on Los Angeles, which Voight called destructive.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) January 21, 2017
According to Cornell University Law School, the U.S. criminal code includes a specific definition of treason, and judging by Voight’s comments it’s not clear that he’s familiar with the government’s official definition.
“Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States,” title 18 of the U.S. code reads.
Jon Voight was not asked by the reporter for TMZ if he would choose death or imprisonment for Miley Cyrus and Shia LaBeouf as punishment for their treason.
In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama that Jon Voight published in the Washington Times in 2010, the actor had harsh words of criticism of Barack Obama. It’s not clear why criticism for President Barack Obama in 2010 is different from criticism for President Donald Trump in 2017. One major difference is that Jon Voight supports Donald Trump but he did not support Barack Obama. The letter rips into Obama for his treatment toward Israel.
“You will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people,” Voight wrote. “And the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only Democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies. You have done just the opposite. You have propagandized Israel, until they look like they are everyone’s enemy — and it has resonated throughout the world. You are putting Israel in harm’s way, and you have promoted anti-Semitism throughout the world.”
In the letter, Voight also accused Barack Obama of starting a “civil war” in Arizona over immigration law by defending people he describes as “criminals and illegals” at the expense of “good, loyal, law-abiding citizens.”
A Google search for Jon Voight defending Barack Obama from criticism from other celebrities who often criticized him, such as Ted Nugent, yielded no results. Opposition to Barack Obama, unlike opposition to Donald Trump, is apparently not treason according to Jon Voight.
[Featured Image by David J. Phillip/AP Images]