President Trump's tendency to repeat falsehoods and brag about his own election weeks after the inauguration has left both friends and enemies expressing concern about his wellbeing.
Worries came to a head on Thursday when Trump delivered a wild press conference, bashing news about the White House as being "fake" even though he conceded the "leaks are real" and bragging he had the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan, despite such an assertion being demonstrably false. "Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump's mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic, and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored, and unglued," David Brooks wrote at The New York Times.
Democrats have not been shy about expressing their concerns. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) fretted in a floor speech that the 25th Amendment of the Constitution does not adequately cover mental or emotional fitness when discussing methods for removing the president, while Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) is working on legislation that would require a psychiatrist or psychologist in the White House, The Hill reports.
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Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) even confirmed to CNN that "a few" Republicans have confided in him concerns about Trump's "mental health."
For Brian Stelter's Reliable Sources, CNN's Brian Lowry revisited Howard Stern's prediction that the presidency would deteriorate Trump. "I actually think this is something that is gonna be detrimental to his mental health too, because, he wants to be liked, he wants to be loved. He wants people to cheer for him," Stern once said.
Mental health professionals warned The Hill against the "politicization" of claims that an opponent is suffering from mental illnesses: "We certainly wouldn't want individuals to use mental illness as a weapon to harm others," said University of Georgia psychologist Joshua Miller. But even mental health professionals are paying attention to Trump's behavior, with 35 psychologists and psychiatrists recently authoring a letter to The New York Times warning of "the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump's speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president."
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