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A senior research psychologist explains why Trump is the exact opposite of a ‘stable genius’

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Robert Epstein, the senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, penned an op-ed on Monday addressing Donald Trump’s numerous lies, reversal and contradictions. In it, Epstein argues that the president is not, as some suggest, mentally ill, but is instead “highly vulnerable to what can reasonably be called ‘sympathetic audience control.’”

As Epstein explains, “all normal people are subject to ‘audience control’ to one degree or another,” meaning they “regulate what they say and do based on who’s around them.” But while “audience control doesn’t usually cause problems,” for Trump it makes him “like a rudderless sailboat blown about by the wind.”

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“When Trump is in the presence of someone he dislikes or distrusts, he attacks and will continue to lash out for a while, but not necessarily forever,” Epstein writes. “When someone he perceives as a threat becomes deferential (Rocket Man, for example), Trump not only stops attacking, he also becomes highly vulnerable to influence.”

Meanwhile, the president is “rapidly influenced” by people he “perceives as supportive,” a concept Epstein refers to as “sympathetic audience control.”

“When Trump is in front of a large group of cheering people, his thinking is fully controlled by the crowd,” Epstein adds. “It might seem he’s in control, but the opposite is actually the case. The supportive audience completely dominates his thinking, causing him to repeat, over and over, things he believes the audience wants to hear.”

Trump also, according to Epstein, perceives the world in small time windows, leading hm to shift “his views frequently” — “without shame or even awareness.”

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“All that’s shiny and real to him is what friends or foes are saying inside those small time windows,” Epstein writes.

“If I’m right, and I’m pretty sure I am, Trump is capable of only a minimal level of analytical or critical thinking,” the psychologist continues. “Perhaps more alarming, our president — the putative leader of the free world — doesn’t believe in anything and he rarely, if ever, means anything he says.”

“And if I’m right, Trump will continue to function this way — blindly, erratically and reactively, without principle or direction — for the rest of his life,” Epstein concludes.

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You can read the full op-ed at USA Today.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Twitter mocks ‘gibbering conspiracy loon’ Trump after he claims Google rigged the election

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On Monday, President Donald Trump made the dubious claim that Google had tried to sway the election for Hillary Clinton.

"My victory was even bigger than thought!" the president proclaimed.

Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019

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Paul Krugman hilariously roasts Trump economic adviser for decades’ worth of terrible predictions

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Monday set his sights on Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who himself is not actually an economist, for making decades' worth of terrible predictions.

Writing on Twitter, Krugman concedes that making predictions is a difficult business and he admits to making his own bad predictions in the past.

However, he then explains that Kudlow is unique because he's been making the same false prediction for decades -- namely, about tax cuts for the ultra-rich producing economic miracles.

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Twitter admits China has created hundreds of fake accounts to undermine Hong Kong protests

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Twitter on Monday admitted that China had created hundreds of fake accounts aimed at undermining the protests in Hong Kong that have gripped the city in recent weeks.

Specifically, Twitter found that at least 936 different accounts had been created within the People's Republic of China that have been "deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground."

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