We’ve mentioned this possibility on a few occasions — specifically here (where we suggested we should call Trump’s false statement “delusions” rather than “lies”), and here, where we outlined Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder — but the idea that Trump might actually be mentally ill is starting to gain some traction within the mainstream media.
Andrew Sullivan outlined it in clear terms yesterday in the NY Mag:
Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him? If you showed up at a neighbor’s, say, and your host showed you his newly painted living room, which was a deep blue, and then insisted repeatedly — manically — that it was a lovely shade of scarlet, what would your reaction be? If he then dragged out a member of his family and insisted she repeat this obvious untruth in front of you, how would you respond? If the next time you dropped by, he was still raving about his gorgeous new red walls, what would you think? Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional. If he kept this up, at some point you’d excuse yourself and edge slowly out of the room and the house and never return. You’d warn your other neighbors. You’d keep your distance. If you saw him, you’d be polite but keep your distance.
I think this is a fundamental reason why so many of us have been so unsettled, anxious, and near panic these past few months … It is that when the linchpin of an entire country is literally delusional, clinically deceptive, and responds to any attempt to correct the record with rage and vengeance, everyone is always on edge.
Sullivan then reiterated the point on CNN:
The New York Daily News also talked to experts in the field of psychology, who ultimately concluded that Trump “is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president,” diagnosing him with “malignant narcissism.”
The psychological warning signs? “Scapegoating …, degrading, ridiculing, and demeaning rivals and critics, fostering a cult of the Strong Man who appeals to fear and anger, promises to solve our problems if we just trust in him, reinvents history and has little concern for truth (and) sees no need for rational persuasion.”
That’s Trump all right.
On Jake Tapper’s morning show yesterday, Al Franken also said that several of his Republican colleagues have expressed concerns about Trump’s mental health.
One doesn’t have to look far to find evidence supporting conclusions that Trump is mentally ill, of course. But here’s a recent piece of evidence that left me flabbergasted.
That photo was taken inside of Mar-a-Lago this weekend. The scene is this: The Japanese Prime Minister, Stephen Bannon, Michael Flynn and Trump have just learned that North Korea launched a test missile as a sort of show across America’s bow. As you can see, everyone else in the photo seems concerned. Trump? Not so much. He looks like he’s in a dreamy haze.
How the events unfolded are actually even more bizarre. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who — for obvious reasons — was very concerned about North Korea, but Trump did not want to interrupt dinner plans. They did not go somewhere private to discuss the situation. Instead, they had a strategy sessions right there at their table in full view of all the Mar-a-Lago members, who pay $200,000 a year to belong to the club and, apparently, witness the President make national security decisions.
Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon left their seats to huddle closer to Trump as documents were produced and phone calls were placed to officials in Washington and Tokyo.
The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents.
Even as a flurry of advisers and translators descended upon the table carrying papers and phones for their bosses to consult, dinner itself proceeded apace. Waiters cleared the wedge salads and brought along the main course as Trump and Abe continued consulting with aides.
Hillary was crucified for having a private server while Trump is LEAVING FUCKING PRINTOUTS OF CLASSIFIED INFO AROUND A FLORIDA COUNTRY CLUB.— Geraldine (@everywhereist) February 13, 2017
Shortly thereafter, Abe and Trump had a quick joint press conference in the ballroom, although after Abe spoke, Trump completely ignored the remarks that had been written out for him, in which Trump would have mentioned the missile test and denounced North Korea. Instead he basically said, “What Abe said. We stand behind him.”
And then Trump walked over to a nearby wedding reception, congratulated the bride and groom, grabbed the microphone and said of the bride and groom:
“I saw them out on the lawn today. I said to the Prime Minister of Japan, I said, ‘C’mon Shinzo, let’s go over and say hello.’ ”
“They’ve been members of this club for a long time,” Trump said of the newlyweds. “They’ve paid me a fortune.”
This is how our President reacts to a national security crisis, ladies and gentlemen. The man is severely mentally ill.