President Trump is considering stripping the security clearances of several former intelligence officials who have been critical of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. One of the targets is former CIA Director John Brennan who tweeted that Trump’s performance was, "...nothing short of treasonous.”

On the heels of that July 16 tweet, the word "treason" began springing up everywhere, from news media headlines to crawls on cable TV news shows to opinion polls. The surge in popularity of this word, and it’s complicated meaning here in the US, rung the Curiosity Desk’s tuning fork. Edgar B. Herwick III joined Joe Mathieu on WGBH's Morning Edition to discuss it.