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In this Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 photo, demonstrators burn a U.S. flag in front of the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The protesters are demanding their jobs back after the American car parts maker Lear laid off workers in what has become a bitter struggle between the workers and the company. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Trump tweeted that flag burners should face 'consequences' like losing citizenship


Already hammered for baseless allegations of voter fraud, President-elect Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant criticizing CNN and pivoting to a tweet condemning protesters who burn the American flag.

At the time CNN noticed the tweet, a panel discussion was criticizing Trump's penchant for tweeting dubious claims, particularly involving voter fraud.

It is legal to burn a U.S. flag, according to The Law Dictionary. However, flag burners can be charged with starting a fire without a permit.

Trump said flag burners should lose their citizenship or spend jail time.

Currently, the only situations under which someone's U.S. citizenship can be revoked are, according to the State Department:

  • Gaining citizenship in or pledging allegiance to another nation
  • Serving in armies at war with the United States
  • Working with a foreign government
  • Committing an act of treason
  • Formally renouncing one's own citizenship

Clinton's take on flag burning

In 2005, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton co-sponsored the Flag Protection Act of 2005, which would have made burning the flag a crime punishable by a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The bill was never considered by Congress.

Clinton and her co-sponsor, Robert Bennett, R-Utah, later voted against a proposed 2006 Constitutional amendment that would prohibit damaging the flag. It fell one vote short of the necessary two-thirds majority, according to The Washington Post.

Should burning or otherwise damaging the American flag be legal?

POLL  | Should burning the U.S. flag be legal?

Trump's flag-burning tweet came after a pair of anti-CNN tweets.

Trump has long suggested CNN was part of a conspiracy to elect Clinton.

Previously, Trump quoted supporters who implied massive voter fraud had taken place.

These tweets did not cite any evidence.

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