Donald Trump’s Mental Faculties Continue to Erode

Aaron Chown/PA Wire via ZUMA

Michael Schmidt of the New York Times held an impromptu interview with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago yesterday, and there are takes galore lighting up the internet. Probably all of them are accurate, but for my money the main takeaway isn’t something you can illustrate with an excerpt from the interview. But I’ll try anyway:

SCHMIDT: What are you willing to do on infrastructure? How far are you willing to go? How much money?

TRUMP: I actually think we can get as many Democrat votes as we have Republican. Republicans want to see infrastructure. Michael, we have spent, as of about a month ago, $7 trillion in the Middle East. And the Middle East is worse than it was 17 years ago….And if you want $12 to fix up a road or a highway, you can’t get it…. I believe we can do health care in a bipartisan way, because now we’ve essentially gutted and ended Obamacare.

….Wait, wait, let me just tell you. … Also, beyond the individual mandate, but also [inaudible] associations. You understand what the associations are….So now I have associations….That’s gonna be millions and millions of people….Now I’ve ended the individual mandate. And the other thing I wish you’d tell people. So when I do this, and we’ve got health care, you know, McCain did his vote. … But what we have. I had a hundred congressmen that said no and I was able to talk them into it. They’re great people.

Two things: No. 1, I have unbelievably great relationships with 97 percent of the Republican congressmen and senators. I love them and they love me. That’s No. 1. And No. 2, I know more about the big bills. … [Inaudible.] … than any president that’s ever been in office. Whether it’s health care and taxes.

….I’ll tell you something [inaudible] … Put me on the defense, I was a great student and all this stuff. Oh, he doesn’t know the details, these are sick people….But Michael, I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most….I believe that because of the individual mandate and the associations, the Democrats will and certainly should come to me and see if they can do a really great health care plan for the remaining people.

This is a taste, but you have to read the whole interview to really get it. This simply is not a man in full control of his mental faculties. He’s always been narcissistic and blowhardish, but over the course of the interview he’s completely unable to stay focused on a topic for even a few seconds. He veers off into his Electoral College win constantly. He stops to insist there’s no Russian collusion at least a dozen times. He displays no knowledge of anything. It’s like talking to a third-grader.

I don’t know what’s going on with the guy, but even by Donald Trump standards he’s not all there. This is not someone who should be occupying the Oval Office.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate