Donald Trump speaks to the crowd at a rally in Mississippi.
Photo by Jonathan Bachman—Getty Images
By Michal Addady
August 29, 2016

Donald Trump’s mental health became a central question on Monday’s Morning Joe.

Mika Brzezinski, one of the hosts of the MSNBC show, expressed concern that the Republican nominee may not be mentally fit to serve as president, and suggested that a mental health professional come on the show to evaluate him. When her co-host Joe Scarborough pushed back saying that a psychiatrist can’t diagnose Trump on the show, she said that one could simply “talk about the character traits that we are seeing repetitively here.”

“Let’s stop pretending we’re dealing with someone who we can completely understand,” Brzezinski said. “When you see someone who you think has problems, you know it. And there’s not anybody at this table who doesn’t think he has some sort of problem. Let’s ask the questions.” She added that she has been asked “hundreds of times” whether Trump is mentally stable, as had Scarborough.

The guests included Eddie Glaude Jr., a professor of Religion and African-American studies at Princeton, and former Ted Cruz spokesperson Rick Tyler. While they were hesitant to agree with Brzezinski, they did have some questions. “We always have seen presidential medical records,” Tyler said. “Why not a mental health evaluation?” Glaude warned that we can’t simply say that something is wrong with Trump mentally “as an easy way to dismiss him,” though he added, “I want to understand more fundamentally, right. What’s going on in the country that would lead us to have him as an option in the first place?”

 

At least one psychologist has attempted to create a “psychological portrait” of Trump in the June 2016 issue of the Atlantic using information gathered from the media, his own public statements, and his biographies. According to his own judgment, Trump is highly disagreeable and narcissistic. The article seems to ignore the American Psychiatric Association’s “Goldwater rule” which was established in 1973 after over 1,000 psychiatrists claimed that Barry Goldwater, a man Trump has been compared to extensively, was mentally unfit to be president. The rule states that psychiatrists cannot share their opinions about someone they haven’t personally evaluated.

The comments from Brzezinski about Trump Monday could also be seen as an escalation of an ongoing feud between the presidential candidate and the Morning Joe hosts. Last week Trump sent a series of tweets slamming the show, calling it “unwatchable” and threatening to “tell the real story” of the two anchors. He called Brzezinski Scarborough’s “very insecure long-time girlfriend,” referencing the New York Post’sPage Six” gossip about the two being romantically involved.

Donald Trump’s campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.

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