Latest Fact-Free Claim From Michael Wolff: Trump May Be Dyslexic!

Is Trump mentally unstable? A man child? Michael Wolff and his friends in the press have a new breathless claim: Donald Trump is probably dyslexic. Talking to Wolff on Tuesday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell enthused, “What is the evidence, if any, that he could be dyslexic, and because of his personality, is not willing to admit that?” 

Before even waiting for an answer, Mitchell moved on from this claim to wondering why the President can’t just admit he’s dyslexic, that he’s “not able to acknowledge something that Nelson Rockefeller, former Treasury Secretary Nick Brady, a lot of leaders have had this reading problem.” 

 

 

Here’s Wolff’s answer. Note that actual evidence is not given. Instead, we can’t prove a negative: 

Yeah. I don't know if he's dyslexic because he doesn't talk about these kinds of things. It's just the speculation of the people around him. The literal question, why doesn't he read? You know, I once asked him. I said, this is kind of a presidential question, what's your favorite book? I saw the look in his eye was first kind of a little bit of panic and then a little bit of, "Okay, you got me, and then he came back with —  and you knew that he reached back into his sophomore year in high school, a book he probably didn't even read then, but there he was, he said, All Quiet on the Western Front.

Yet, despite Wolff not having evidence, the claim is in the book. As noted by the Daily Mail, he wrote in Fire and Fury: “Some thought him dyslexic; certainly his comprehension was limited.”

Oh. Okay then.  

Last Thursday, an excited Katy Tur thrilled over the claims in the book: “Isn't it remarkable that we're talking about the President's mental state and asking honest questions about his mental state?” 

But remember, Wolff also asserts that he has “no political agenda.” 

A partial transcript is below: 

Andrea Mitchell Reports
1/9/18
12:18

MITCHELL: You write that Trump didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. If it was print, rather, it might as well not exist. Some believe that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-literate. Some thought him dyslexic: certainly his comprehension was limited. Others concluded that he didn’t read because he just didn’t have to, and that in fact this was one of his key attributes as a populist. He was post-literate-total television.” 

... 

WOLFF: One of the crises of this administration is how do you get information to this man? Because not only does he not, not read, and this is at a level, certainly, we have never seen before in the White House, of someone who just won't consume written information, language, doesn't want it. But that's not the only problem. The other problem is that he doesn't listen. So the man doesn't read information and won't listen to the information that you give him. So literally how do you communicate? How do you convince him of anything? How do you make him understand the facts that he needs to know in order to do his job? I would say nobody has yet successfully answered that question.

MITCHELL: One of his closest advisers, his economic adviser acknowledges his dyslexia. Is this president — What is the evidence, if any, that he could be dyslexic, and because of his personality, is not willing to admit that? Is not able to acknowledge something that Nelson Rockefeller, former Treasury Secretary Nick Brady, a lot of leaders have had this reading problem.  

WOLFF: Yeah. I don't know if he's dyslexic because he doesn't talk about these kinds of things. It's just the speculation of the people around him. The literal question, why doesn't he read? You know, I once asked him. I said, this is kind of a presidential question, what's your favorite book? I saw the look in his eye was first kind of a little bit of panic and then a little bit of, “Okay, you got me, and then he came back with —  and you knew that he reached back into his sophomore year in high school, a book he probably didn't even read then, but there he was, he said, All Quiet on the Western Front.

MITCHELL: Wow. That hasn’t been on reading lists in quite a while. You’re right.  


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CyberAlerts MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Video Michael Wolff Andrea Mitchell Donald Trump
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