Ousted White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney suggested it may be a good thing that President Donald Trump is mentally ill, according to an anecdote in a new book reported by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
Dowd noted supporters of Trump have been calling into question “Joe Biden’s mental acuity.”
“Democrats can resort to this sort of sniping, too. Many Trump critics in 2016, and in the year after his election, pushed the idea that his father had suffered from Alzheimer’s and now Trump was losing it and that his vocabulary was eroding,” Maureen Dowd wrote.
“And it has become common among his attackers to say the president is deranged, suffering from malignant narcissism,” she noted.
She recounted how former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney reportedly suggested White House staffers read the book A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness by Nassir Ghaemi, who is the director of the mood disorders program at Tufts Medical Center.
“This book argues that in at least one vitally important circumstance insanity produces good results and sanity is a problem,” Ghaemi wrote. “In times of crisis, we are better off being led by mentally ill leaders than by mentally normal ones.”
That anecdote was reported in the new book Front Row at the Trump Show by ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
But Dowd is unsure that holds up with coronavirus.
“Trump is continuing his Panglossian handling of the coronavirus,” she wrote. “Meanwhile, the stock market is still freaking out and financial angst is spreading from boardrooms to kitchen tables.”
“We can vividly see in this crisis how close to the surface Trump’s id is and how easily he cleaves to delusions. He personalizes everything so much that when things go bad, he can only see it as an attack on him by the forces out to get him,” Dowd explained. “He seems psychologically incapable of dealing with a virus that is complex and uncertain. The virus will be in every community and needs truth, honesty and intelligence — all absent from the unstable Trump, who at his core is a frightened boy and pretender.”
First sneak peak at my upcoming book via @maureendowd:
As Karl writes: “The new acting chief of staff seemed to be saying President Trump was mentally ill — and that this was a good thing.“ https://t.co/hYlzKBWzZ2
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) March 7, 2020
As @JonKarl reports, when Mulvaney took acting CoS job he suggested WH staff read "A First Rate Madness," about mental illness and leadership. What will he recommend to staffers now that he's off to Northern Ireland? How about "Say Nothing?" https://t.co/rswjPdm0es
— Maureen Dowd (@maureendowd) March 7, 2020