Speed Reads

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough suggests Trump has dementia

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough claimed on Thursday that allies of President Trump questioned Trump's mental state during the 2016 presidential campaign. "People close to him during the campaign told me [he] has early stages of dementia," Scarborough said during Thursday's Morning Joe. Scarborough's co-host and fianceé Mika Brzezinski then added, "You can say that's not okay to say, but at this point it's reality."

Trump's mental health has been a topic of debate pretty much since he began his campaign. In August, long before Trump taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by all but calling him "short and fat," or implied that Scarborough may have killed one of his own interns, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said "the president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful."

Public chatter on the topic has grown louder in the last few days following reports from both The New York Times and The Washington Post claiming that the president seems to believe the Access Hollywood recording of him bragging about sexually assaulting women is not actually of him. When the recording was first released last year, then-candidate Trump confirmed its authenticity just hours after its release. "I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize," he said.

Some experts have steered clear of commenting on the topic of Trump's mental stability, citing the "Goldwater rule" — which prevents mental health professionals from speculating on the mental health of public figures without examination and permission to publicly discuss their diagnosis. But others have been less shy, very publicly suggesting that Trump's behavior exhibits signs of cognitive decline, narcissistic personality disorder, and even sociopathy.