Trump denial syndrome
The Washington Post
Critics of the 45th president are routinely accused of suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” said E.J. Dionne. But in the past week, we’ve seen proof that “those who feared Trump’s despotic inclinations were neither deluded nor alarmist.” After the CIA concluded that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump simply waved this horrific crime away as unimportant. “Maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t!” the president said. Punishing Crown Prince Mohammed might cost us some arms sales and other investments, Trump explained. He did not, of course, mention the Saudis’ lucrative purchase of Trump Organization properties and ongoing rental of hundreds of Trump hotel rooms. To make matters worse, we also learned last week that our authoritarian president wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, but was stopped by then–White House counsel Donald McGahn. Nothing is more autocratic than locking up your political enemies. “The syndrome we most need to worry about is denial”—the refusal of Republicans to face how much damage Trump is inflicting on our constitutional democracy.