After his latest spasm of deranged tweets, only those completely under his spell can deny what growing numbers of Americans have long suspected: The President of the United States is profoundly unstable. He is mad. He is, by any honest layman’s definition, mentally unwell and viciously lashing out.
Some might say we are just suffering through the umpteenth canny, calculated presidential eruption designed to distract the nation from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, or perhaps from unpopular legislation working its way through Congress.
Quite possible. But Occam’s razor, and the sheer strangeness of Trump’s behavior, leads us to conclude that we are witnessing signs of mania.
Early Wednesday morning, Donald Trump or whoever was manning his Twitter account retweeted, seemingly at random, three videos of supposed violence against Christians by Muslims.
At least one of those was long ago debunked. The words of the tweet spread to Trump’s 43.6 million followers referred to a violent young man pictured in a video as a “Muslim migrant.” The perpetrator appears to have been neither a Muslim nor a migrant.
Trump is broadcasting discredited hate videos even as he now tells multiple people in his inner circle that the real, verified “Access Hollywood” video in which he boasted of grabbing women “by the p—y” — words for which he has already publicly apologized — was falsified.
By engaging in the little Islamophobia-fest, Trump amplified the handiwork of a leader of Britain First, a fringe, far-right political movement that is the rough equivalent of America’s white nationalist alt-right.
Then, upon learning of the firing of NBC’s Matt Lauer for workplace sexual harassment, came the real unraveling.
“When will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!” he tweeted, aiming unhinged ire at the network’s news boss.
This is a day after North Korea fired what was, by all accounts, an ICBM. During a week when Congress is in the throes of delicate negotiations on taxes and the budget.
And before our eyes, the President is spinning in a Tasmanian devil’s rage about American news networks.
There was more.
“When will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin?” Trump then tweeted — demanding the firing of a private citizen who happens to run MSNBC, a news channel he hates.
“And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!”
Stop. Read it again. Google it if you must.
The President of the United States just casually accused a congressman-turned-TV-host of murder because an intern died in his Florida office in 2001.
It is a terrible shame that we have to address the substance of this base smear, but these are the indignities forced upon all of us in the age of Donald Trump.
Lori Klausutis, 28, was found dead behind a desk. An autopsy was conducted: She had been feeling unwell; she had heart problems that caused her to fall and hit her head. That is what the medical examiner concluded, finding no signs of foul play.
There is no evidence connecting Scarborough, who barely knew Klausutis, to her death. None. Zero. Zip.
Just like there is no credible evidence connecting Donald Trump to the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1996, a crime of which he was accused in a since-dropped civil lawsuit that has never held up to scrutiny.
One might think a man falsely accused of such a serious crime, who pledged to “open up” libel laws to make it easier for public figures like him and Scarborough to sue people who spread lies about them, would think twice before hurling such an incendiary false charge at someone else.
To think that is to assume that Donald Trump is well. He is not well.