Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough interviewed Michael Wolff, the author of Fire and Fury, today and this led to lots of discussion about President Trump’s mental fitness. At one point in the discussion, Scarborough said that people close to Trump have been telling him for a year that “he’s not mentally fit to be president.” Scarborough then went on to say that he has twice tried to include references to dementia in his columns for the Washington Post but both times the editors told him to remove those references.
“I’ve written twice in my column a quote about one of [the] people closest to Donald Trump during the campaign saying he’s got early stage of dementia,” Scarborough said. He continued, “He repeats the same stories over and over again, his father had it and not a single person that works for him doesn’t know he has early signs of dementia…But twice the Washington Post would not let me put that in my column.” Here’s the clip with this statement:
During the same interview, Michael Wolff claimed that 100% of Trump’s White House staff are concerned about his mental state. “Everybody in this White House, and I keep saying this 100% because it is 100% of the people closest to the president—to Donald Trump, believe that there is something wrong here,” Wolff claimed. He added, “Something fundamentally wrong. Something that scares them.”
Over at the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway recounts the recent history of left-wing media outlets speculating about the president’s mental health and the possible need to invoke the 25th amendment to remove him from office. She compares what is happening now to the plot of Fox’s 24 TV show, saying it is comparable to the discussion of a coup:
Trump is unlike any previous president of the United States. Voters knew this when they chose him over Hillary Clinton. And there is nothing about Trump now that suggests his mental state is any different or worse or dangerous than when voters elected him, or when they first encountered him on gossip pages and in reality television decades ago.
To suggest otherwise is to undermine the democratic election of presidents, and to do so would be far more damaging to the country than anything Trump’s actually done. It is particularly noteworthy that members of an elite are calling for his ouster when Trump’s election was partly in response to anger at mismanagement by members of the media and political establishment.
Talk of mental health and a 25th Amendment removal, “by force if necessary,” is talk of a coup, just as it was in the TV show “24.”
There’s a kind of partisan version of mutually-assured-destruction taking place in the U.S. right now between the left and the Trump administration. For the moment, it is only talk but you do begin to worry that one side or the other is going to get partisans so worked up that a genuinely damaging confrontation becomes inevitable.
Update: Another take on Trump’s competence, this one favorable:
A Trump friend, unsolicited, weighs in on his mental health: pic.twitter.com/vMr2GIIlsL
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 8, 2018