Scarborough Smears: I’m Not Saying Trump Has Dementia, But…

On Tuesday’s edition of Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough suggested President Trump was exhibiting symptoms of dementia, while a Princeton professor accused Trump supporters of using Trump’s “ignorance” to justify “not really wanting to be informed.”

In the May 2 broadcast, which focused mainly on Trump’s statements on Andrew Jackson and the Civil War, Scarborough and co-host Mike Brzezinski zeroed in on Trump’s mental faculties. “I will tell you, for better or worse, and no matter what people have thought along the way, we have known this man for a very long time. And we're not seeing the same guy here,” Brzezinski stated.

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Historian and political commentator Doris Kearns Goodwin volunteered, “Well, he lives in the present. It's like he lives in the present so that that's the only moment that matters. So whatever happened in the past, whatever he said two weeks ago – this is the moment. But then you never know that that moment is not going to change.”

At this point, Scarborough gave what he insisted wasn’t a diagnosis, but sounded exactly like one. “My mother lives in the moment, too. And I'm not saying that Donald Trump has dementia, but my mother has dementia. She lives in the moment. She forgets what she said a day ago, a week ago. We can't have presidents that do that. And I'm not saying that he has dementia. I will leave that to his physician to figure that out.

Brzezinski agreed, “Something is wrong, and to the point where you can't even have a bigger debate, excuse me, Joe, about the issue at hand that he's talking about, because he's nonsensical”

Earlier in the broadcast, Princeton Professor of Religion and African-American Studies, Eddie Glaude Jr., not only agreed with Scarborough and Brzezinski’s assessment of Trump’s mental state; he went on to declare that Trump supporters were not only willfully ignorant, but that they used Trump’s alleged ignorance to justify their own. “And then the third point is he seems to make ‘not knowing’ a good. That is to say, there's a sense in which – the comments around Andrew Jackson, not knowing, just ignorance – a good. And it seems to justify people who are his base not really wanting to be informedAnd that seems to me deeply problematic for a democracy. It seems to me.”

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPTS FOLLOW:

FIRST TRANSCRIPT:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Eddie, he said not so long ago that we could be heading to a major, major war with North Korea. And now he's honored to meet – again, it’s as if he doesn't remember what he said five minutes ago. 

EDDIE GLAUDE JR, PRINCETON: Right. And you know, it's really interesting. On the one hand, we've seen this with regards to his embrace, quote, unquote of Putin, the call to Erdogan of Turkey, now the gesture to North Korea and also the Philippines with Duterte, right? There's a sense at which there's this attraction to strong men, so there's that element of it. And then there's the sense, the clip – kind of reaction of a petulant child, instead of owning responsibility for what he did, there's a kind of displacement and then the reaction to go just, ‘I'm done,’ and go sit down at a desk with nothing to do. 

SCARBOROUGH: And, and, ‘I don't stand by anything’ is his quote. ‘I don't stand by anything.’ 

GLAUDE: Yeah. And then the third point is he seems to make ‘not knowing’ a good. That is to say, there's a sense in which-- the comments around Andrew Jackson, not knowing, just ignorance – a good. And it seems to justify people who are his base not really wanting to be informed. And that seems to me deeply problematic for a democracy. It seems to me.
 

SECOND TRANSCRIPT:

MIKA BRZEZINKSI: Yeah. I will tell you, for better or worse, and no matter what people have thought along the way, we have known this man for a very long time. And we're not seeing the same guy here. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Really. You think it's gotten worse. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Oh, my god. 

BRZEZINKSI: Oh, absolutely. Especially after taking a short break. 

SCARBOROUGH: A lot worse. 

BRZEZINKSI: And then coming back. This is not funny. I can't even –  

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Well, he lives in the present. It's like he lives in the present so that that's the only moment that matters. So whatever happened in the past, whatever he said two weeks ago – this is the moment. But then you never know that that moment is not going to change. 

SCARBOROUGH: My mother lives in the moment, too. And I'm not saying that Donald Trump has dementia, but my mother has dementia. She lives in the moment. She forgets what she said a day ago, a week ago. We can't have presidents that do that. And I'm not saying that he has dementia. I will leave that to his physician to figure that out. 

BRZEZINKSI: Something is wrong, and to the point where you can't even have a bigger debate, excuse me, Joe, about the issue at hand that he's talking about, because he's nonsensical. Like that's what Republican Congressmen and everybody who is backing up here have to keep in mind. As they think about the decisions they're going to make moving forward. Are you going stand by this guy? Because he's nowhere. He doesn't stand by anything. And I'm quoting him right now. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Right. Right. 

SCARBOROUGH: I stand by nothing. Flip flop on North Korea. Flip flop on NAFTA. Flip flop on health care. Flip flop on everything. And often, it's not a day or two, a week, it's just hours apart these flips. And, there’s nobody inside the white house, is there, that can actually rein this in. At all. 

MSNBC Morning Joe

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