Donald Trump called into Fox News this week and spent a fair amount of time lashing out at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calf.). "He's a sick man. He is so sick," the president argued, adding, "This guy, he ought to be put away, or he ought to be, you know, something should happen with him."
A day later, Trump headlined his latest North Carolina rally, where the Republican incumbent took the next predictable step:
"Honestly, that guy [Schiff] should be locked up. No, it's true. You know, because he's -- remember what he said. I had this perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine. I'm the only one that could get impeached over a phone call that was perfect.... Fortunately, we had beautiful transcribers that transcribed the call. Can you imagine if we didn't have [the official White House call summary]?"
The president added that his opponents "died" when they discovered that the White House had a rough transcription of his comments to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
None of this reflects reality in any way. In fact, Trump was impeached for launching an illegal extortion scheme -- it's a curious thing for the president to bring up at this point in the campaign -- and the official White House call summary was deeply incriminating. Indeed, it played a key role in securing the president's impeachment.
But as important as these details are, let's not brush past the fact that Trump doesn't just want to condemn Schiff, he wants to see him "locked up." Why? Because the California Democrat had the audacity to hold the president accountable for launching an illegal extortion scheme.
For those keeping score, just over the last week, the president has called for the incarceration of his 2020 opponent, his 2016 opponent, the governor of Michigan (on heels of a recent thwarted plot from right-wing radicals to kidnap and execute her), and now the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
It's quite a closing message for the Republican incumbent to take to voters in the election's closing days.