Trump smacked with list of former associates warning he's mentally unstable in brutal CNN segment
Donald Trump speaks to a large crowd at "An Address to Young America" an event hosted by Students for Trump and Turning Point Action. (Nuno21 /

On Thursday, CNN reporter John Avlon alleged that former President Donald Trump was suffering from mental decline — using the words of Trump's own associates.

"There is something known as the Goldwater Rule that bars diagnosis of a candidate or president's mental health by professionals or otherwise," said Avlon. "Armchair diagnosis can be dangerous and misleading, because it often reflects the partisan bias of the self-appointed analysts. But that doesn't mean we should ignore the evidence provided by the people closest to the president. Like his former chief of staff who called Trump 'unhinged.' A 'moron' according to his secretary of state. His chief strategist reportedly compared him to an '11-year-old child who lost a step.' A 'madman' according to a former communications director. An 'idiot surrounded by clowns' according to his chief economic adviser. This is a very few examples."

Trump smacked with list of former associates warning he's mentally unstable in brutal CNN segment

All of this is in contrast, Avlon noted, to right-wing media's efforts to paint President Joe Biden as cognitively incapable of the job, for which he turned to LexisNexis data.

"Fox News described Biden as 'senile' 47 times over the past two years, invoked 'cognitive decline' 48 times, raised the specter of 'dementia' 22 times, and used the euphemism 'confused' 157 times," said Avlon. "So much for the Goldwater Rule. This isn't subtle, and these are just some of the phrases that could be picked to make the same point."

"What is striking is how Trump's hardcore supporters believe they know their man better than the people who actually know him. They seem willing to follow him past facts to the point of idolatry," said Avlon. But, he added, "all the whataboutism in the world cannot deflect from the fact Donald Trump tried to overturn an election, tried to destroy our democracy just to soothe his own fragile wounded ego. And the reason isn't just awful history, it's that he seems to be his party's frontrunner in the next election, and that's why this can't be ignored. And that's your reality check."

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John Avlon on Trump's associates warning about his mental state