The anonymous author of a new book who claims to be a senior official in the Trump administration is yet another person to question the president’s mental faculties. The White House dismissed the book as “lies” written by a “coward.”
Many individuals—including professional psychologists and psychiatrists, and people who have worked inside the administration or been close to it—have called into question President Donald Trump’s mental fitness for the office he holds.
The author of A Warning also wrote the controversial anonymous op-ed in The New York Times, which alleged officials had talked about invoking the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of the president if they are unable to carry out their duties, such as through death or disability, and be replaced by the vice president.
“I am not qualified to diagnose the president’s mental acuity,” writes the author of A Warning, whose identity remains undisclosed even as their exposé of the administration is set to be published on November 19, according to an excerpt in The Washington Post.
“All I can tell you is that normal people who spend any time with Donald Trump are uncomfortable by what they witness. He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity. Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.”
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told The New York Times. “The coward who wrote this book didn’t put their name on it because it is nothing but lies.”
Anthony Scaramucci, who served briefly as White House communications director but left after criticizing other officials in the administration, told CNN he believes Trump is “obviously in mental decline” and “full-blown meltdown.”
“If you look at a whole pattern of speech and you look at the whole deterioration of his syntax and the way he’s talking… you’re saying, ‘Okay, the guy is obviously in mental decline,'” Scaramucci said.
While some point to mental decline, others say Trump is mentally ill.
Last week, Lance M. Dodes, MD, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School told Salon that Trump’s “focus on his personal benefit at any cost is why he’s a successful sociopath.”
“It’s very hard to get this across to the public, because every time people talk about him, they start out with the unspoken unconscious assumption that he’s basically like the rest of us,” Dodes said.
“But in order to explain and predict Trump’s behavior, you have to begin with awareness that he is essentially a predator. Once you keep in mind that Trump lacks a conscience and lacks empathy, he becomes very easy to follow. Unlike normal people, who are complex, he’s basically running on a very simple and very disordered program.”
Earlier in October, John M. Talmadge, MD, a physician and clinical professor of psychiatry at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center, wrote on Twitter that Trump’s “mental impairment means he cannot think strategically or in abstract terms.”
“Trump does not have a vision or a plan, because he can think only in concrete, elementary, childlike, one dimensional terms,” wrote Talmadge, who was commenting in a personal capacity.
“This Trumpian brain failure is hard for normal people to understand because for normal people, abstract thought is natural, baked in, largely unnoticed. Normal people see the consequences, assess risk, make rational decisions most of the time.”
That same month, Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, suggested that Trump should be detained involuntarily to assess his mental health because of a “truly alarming” threat the president made to Turkey.
“Am I the only psychologist who finds this claim and this threat truly alarming? Wouldn’t these normally trigger a mental health hold? Right and Left must set aside politics and agree that there is a serious problem here,” Gilbert wrote on Twitter.
Last year, Bandy Lee, MD, a Yale psychiatrist, told Newsweek that a longtime Trump family friend approached her with concerns about the president’s well-being. She also said two officials from the administration did the same.
Lee wrote in a piece for The Conversation that Trump displayed “psychological symptoms reflective of emotional compulsion, impulsivity, poor concentration, narcissism and recklessness.”
In a recent article for The Atlantic , George Conway, an attorney and former Republican who is married to senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, argued that Trump is mentally unfit to hold his office, laying out a detailed assessment based on medical literature.
“Simply put, Trump’s ingrained and extreme behavioral characteristics make it impossible for him to carry out the duties of the presidency in the way the Constitution requires,” Conway wrote.
“The question is whether he can possibly act as a public fiduciary for the nation’s highest public trust… Given that Trump displays the extreme behavioral characteristics of a pathological narcissist, a sociopath, or a malignant narcissist—take your pick—it’s clear that he can’t.”
A letter to Congress signed by 250 medical professionals led by Bandy Lee warned lawmakers to consider the president’s mental state as the House pursues impeachment over his conduct towards Ukraine.
The letter stated that Trump “has the pattern of fragile sense of self and is prone to blame and attack others when threatened” and has “shown himself willing to encourage violence against his perceived enemies.”
“The unfolding of an impeachment inquiry raises the specter of President Trump feeling threatened in ways he never has before,” the letter said.
“This sense of threat is likely to lead to an exacerbation of his attacks on perceived enemies and to increased encouragement of violence against them. This encouragement may lead to violent actions by others, such as we have seen over the last couple of years but highly exacerbated.”