Details from Bob Woodward's latest book, "Rage," appear to have seriously harmed Donald Trump's ego, according to a psychotherapist who co-authored a book about the president’s mental health.
Explosive details from the book went public on Wednesday, and Trump spent much of Thursday morning on Twitter.
“Our president tweeted and retweeted self-adulatory content 34 times, so far, in one hour. The narcissistic injury induced by Woodward tapes is severe,” wrote Elizabeth Mika, the co-author of "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump," in response to the president’s Twitter spree.
“Self-adulatory, contemptuous of his critics, and/or threatening content. Rage is a natural response to narcissistic injury,” she continued.
“We all experience narcissistic injuries, btw -- the blows to our sense of (false) self and self-worth. They are actually necessary for our development, as they help us dismantle our false self, piece by piece or all at once, helping to reveal our True Self underneath,” Mika added.
Trump was to continue his PR blitz with another rally in Michigan later Thursday.
Despite the bluster, Trump's taped admission to Woodward that he played down the coronavirus crisis in public, while being aware of the unique danger from the disease, has set off alarm bells less than eight weeks before election day.
"Rage" is filled with startling episodes, including the assessment by Trump's then director of national intelligence, the respected Dan Coats, that the president "doesn't know the difference between the truth and a lie."
But the segments in which Trump candidly discusses the coronavirus pandemic -- which has by now killed almost 200,000 Americans -- are getting the most attention.
Despite openly describing to Woodward the scary characteristics of the then unknown virus, Trump said "I wanted to always play it down."
Trump went on to explain that he wanted to avoid causing panic but his acknowledgement that he was deliberately failing to tell the country the unvarnished truth has started a firestorm.
"He knew how deadly it was," Democratic opponent Joe Biden said Wednesday. "He lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months."
With additional reporting from AFP