MSNBC Guest: ‘We Must Act Soon’ Against Mentally Ill Trump or Risk Him Going ‘Violent’

Late Sunday afternoon on MSNBC, Yale School of Medicine forensic psychologist Bandy Lee seemed to hint at the need for the overthrow of Presidents Trump, proclaiming that he’s so mentally unstable that “[w]e must act soon” or risk him turning violent with catastrophic consequences for all of us.

Host Yasmin Vossoughian introduced Lee as both the co-author of a book warning about Trump’s mental state and “an opinion piece in The New York Times this week where you say that the President was showing what you call, ‘a pattern of decompensation.’”

 

 

Vossoughian admitted that Lee’s language was “pretty strong,” adding another quote from Lee’s Times piece about the President “increasingly losing touch with reality.”

Speaking very softly, Lee tacitly argued for Trump’s removal from office:

Well, what we're seeing is what is happening is serious, it is dangerous and we must act soon. Much of what we as mental health professionals predicted in the book seven months ago is coming true. What we are now saying is that things will get worse and get worse more rapidly. 

Yikes. Whether Lee realizes it or not, but calling for Trump’s removal won’t win over anyone who’s not already firmly entrenched in The Resistance. In fact, such talk would only cause most Trump supporters or even occasional Trump skeptics to steer clear of this viewpoint.

Vossoughian pushed back, wondering if “it's fair to question the sort of competency and the mental health of the sitting President of the United States,” but Lee replied that she and her fellow lefties “wouldn't be speaking out if it were very serious in terms of the manifestations.”

“What we're seeing is someone mentally falling apart. This is what we mean when someone is coming unglued or unhinged. With stress, they will be less able to tell apart what is real from what is unreal, become more bizarre and, in the case of Mr. Trump, will likely become violent,” Lee continued.

She concluded by opining that Trump “will have thoughts and reasoning that will be hard for us to follow because he is pulled more by his internal processes, what's going on in his head.” 

To his credit, CNBC’s John Harwood tried to put the brakes on the hysteria, correctly pointing out “that words don't mean that much to the President from one moment to the other” and “[w]hat he says at any given moment may be completely at odds with what he says subsequently and remember, there's a long history of this.”

“This is somebody who used to call up reporters under an assumed name and talk about himself and tell the reporter from People magazine that a beautiful model had dumped Mick Jagger for Donald Trump....How you judge between somebody who is deliberately saying things that are untrue for the purpose of misleading followers versus has somehow persuaded himself that some of these things are true, that's very difficult for a layman like me who’s not a doctor to tell,” Harwood added.

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Here’s the relevant transcript from December 3's MSNBC Live:

MSNBC Live
December 3, 2017
4:50 p.m. Eastern

YASMIN VOSSOUGHIAN: Bandy, you wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times this week where you say that the President was showing what you call, “a pattern of decompensation” and I’m quoting your exact words, “increasing loss of touch with reality.” That’s pretty — that's some pretty strong words there. What did you mean by that? 

BANDY LEE: Well, what we're seeing is what is happening is serious, it is dangerous and we must act soon. Much of what we as mental health professionals predicted in the book seven months ago is coming true. What we are now saying is that things will get worse and get worse more rapidly. 

VOSSOUGHIAN: But do you think it's fair to question the sort of competency and the mental health of the sitting President of the United States? 

LEE: We wouldn't be speaking out if it were very serious in terms of the manifestations. 

VOSSOUGHIAN: What was the impetus to speak out then? Why did you feel the need to speak out? 

LEE: What we're seeing is someone mentally falling apart. This is what we mean when someone is coming unglued or unhinged. With stress, they will be less able to tell apart what is real from what is unreal, become more bizarre and, in the case of Mr. Trump, will likely become violent. He will have thoughts and reasoning that will be hard for us to follow because he is pulled more by his internal processes, what's going on in his head, be they fantasies, conspiracy theories or imaginary threats than what is going on in the real world. 

VOSSOUGHIAN: Harwood, I want to get you on this and I’m calling you Harwood because, obviously, we have two Johns on the panel this afternoon. How do I make sense of what to take of the President's word and what sort of stream of consciousness, not only the American public but those overseas who use the President's word to shape their own policy? They are seeing these tweets go out one after the other as we sort of been covering them in the media and they see them first hand as we do. 

JOHN HARWOOD: Well, we’ve seen —

VOSSOUGHIAN: And there's really no filter to that. 

HARWOOD: That's right, but we've seen for a long time that words don't mean that much to the President from one moment to the other. What he says at any given moment may be completely at odds with what he says subsequently and remember, there's a long history of this. This is somebody who used to call up reporters under an assumed name and talk about himself and tell the reporter from People magazine that a beautiful model had dumped Mick Jagger for Donald Trump. I mean, this kind of stuff is very bizarre. The most bizarre of all the things we've been talking about , I think, is the President's claim that the voice on the Access Hollywood tape was not him since as you noted, Yasmin, he acknowledged, apologized for that, and it's perfectly obvious that it's his voice. How you judge between somebody who is deliberately saying things that are untrue for the purpose of misleading followers versus has somehow persuaded himself that some of these things are true, that's very difficult for a layman like me who’s not a doctor to tell, but what we do know is that the President, in many circumstances, pretty constantly says things that simply aren't true. 

VOSSOUGHIAN: Is there sort of like this veering away from the truth, Harwood, and I’m sticking with you on this one, also enabling others governments along with the U.S. government and people in the U.S. to treat the press unfairly, especially with this whole idea of fake news? 

HARWOOD: I suppose we will hear that term and we have heard that term, fake news, that the President has popularized, but I don't know, Yasmin. I have a little bit more confidence in human nature and the fact that people want to know what's true and want to act on what's true. Yes, there's partisanship and polarization and people can misuse information, but I'm a little bit more confident that, ultimately, the truth wins out. 

VOSSOUGHIAN: I mean, we were once seen this country as upholding the freedom of press, of being the pinnacle of upholding the freedom of press and it seems as we’re no longer holding — 

HARWOOD: Well, but I think the country does. What the President — one of the great things about this country is, the government doesn't define the country and so, if the United States favors freedom of the press, that will be true whether or not any given president does. 

VOSSOUGHIAN: It's a fantastic point.


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