Liberal journalists were furious with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist when he diagnosed Terri Schiavo's mental state from the Senate floor in 2005. But over the weekend, MSNBC morning hosts were bringing on guests to diagnose President Trump's mental state -- much like Brian Stelter did on CNN.
On Saturday's Up with David Gura, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley -- not a medical expert -- insisted President Trump's mental competence must be called into question. Gura cited Trump's "inability to evolve" and support gun control, for example.
MAYA WILEY: This is the man who this week said he was the second coming.
DAVID GURA: Right. The chosen one, as he looked to the stars, yeah. [It was daylight.]
WILEY: It is very, very difficult to not have a conversation about whether or not he’s competent to serve as president. I say that because there are actually objective measures this week. So there’s the possibility, of course, he is just a president without a platform and, therefore, he’s not going to stick to one position and he’s going to waver based on whoever is influencing him, because he doesn’t stand for anything. That is one narrative. The other possibility is, as we saw with Ronald Reagan, who actually did have Alzheimer’s and it was kept under wraps. [Um, no -- even a New York Times doctor said there was "no evidence" of that.]
I just don’t understand why we not [sic] actually ask and have a confrontational conversation about whether or not there’s something more going on here with his health, because there are certain statements and behaviors that simply require some analysis because he is the leader of — of supposedly the leader of the free world. I just want to say that it’s both those things, I don’t know which one is true, I’m not making a statement of fact, but this week was a new chapter in bizarre.
On Sunday's AM Joy, host Joy Reid brought on retired Harvard psychiatrist Lance Dodes to diagnose Trump in a hyper-political way, asking him to back up George Conway, who alleged "malignant narcissism" (he did):
LANCE DODES: Well, Donald Trump does have a fundamental psychological problem. He needs to be loved all the time, he needs to have power over everyone all the time. Once you get that idea down, the rest of his behavior and his speech makes sense...
He also doesn’t have any respect for the truth or for honesty. They don’t mean anything to him because he can’t care about them. His focus, again, is always on himself and to be — to care about being honest to people rather than lying to them means you’d have to care about your effect on them. Are you going to harm them? Are you going to mislead them? But since he has no conscience for that kind of thing, he never expresses regret.
He does terrible things to people, the children who are being detained in cages are a good example...The children, of course, really amount to a crime against humanity. If you think about it psychologically, this is what some of us once called soul murder. That’s what he’s doing to these children. His ability to do that fits perfectly with this kind of very deep sickness where other people don’t matter, and he can hurt them to whatever extent he wants.
When Reid asked about other world leaders and how he deals with them, Dodes said “He’s an extremely successful sociopath, that’s why he’s successful,” he suggested. “He loves them if they’re useful to him if they add to his power. That’s what happened with the North Korean leader. As long as he’s useful to him, he loves him and as soon as he would disagree with him, he would turn on him.”
Dr. Dodes also touted his theories on Lawrence O'Donnell's show last week.