Donald Trump was an unusual presidential candidate in a wide variety of ways, but one of the things that made the Republican truly special was his stated desire to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate his opponent.
Indeed, as the GOP nominee, Trump wasn't especially subtle on this point. In the second presidential debate, he declared his intention to order the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton after the election -- with the hopes of putting her "in jail." As we discussed last fall, it was the first time in American history a major-party presidential candidate vowed to a national audience he'd lock up his opponent if elected.
As we now know, Trump won anyway, and his former Democratic rival is not behind bars. But it's hard not to notice that the president can't stop himself from returning to the subject, over and over again.
On Saturday, for example, Trump turned to Twitter to write, "Many people in our Country are asking what the 'Justice' Department is going to do" about the email account of "totally Crooked Hillary."
At face value, it certainly looked like a statement in which the president was lobbying the Justice Department to investigate one of his political critics.
This morning, asked about last week's indictment of his former White House National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, Trump's mind once again went to his former opponent.
"Well, I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He's led a very strong life, and I feel very badly, John.
"I will say this: Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI and nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it's a shame. Hillary Clinton, on the Fourth of July weekend, went to the FBI, not under oath -- it was the most incredible thing anyone has ever seen. She lied many times. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied, and it's like they ruined his life. It's very unfair."
To the extent that reality still has any meaning, Hillary Clinton didn't lie to the FBI. The FBI has already acknowledged as much. The president's comments this morning were the latest example of Trump just making stuff up.
But it's the underlying message that should make the country nervous.