Some Republicans are starting to more openly question Trump's mental health

  • Some Republicans are talking openly about President Donald Trump’s mental health.
  • Just this week, Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, and former Sen. Tom Coburn, all discussed Trump’s mental state.

Some Republicans have recently begun to more openly cast doubt on President Donald Trump’s mental health — previously an area in which only Democrats would publicly speculate.

This week, two retiring Republican senators — Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake — speculated on Trump’s mental state. Corker and Flake have increasingly blasted the president in recent weeks.

In an interview with CNN, Corker, reiterating a comment he first made in August, expressed “concerns about his leadership, and just his stability, and the lack of desire to be competent on issues and understand and nothing has changed.”

Corker also repeated this week that that Trump’s administration was running an adult daycare center to wrangle the president.

Flake, in his speech on the Senate floor announcing his retirement, criticised Trump for his “mercurial behaviour,” which he said was “ahistoric.”

“The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters — the notion that one should say and do nothing in the face of such mercurial behaviour is ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided,” he said.

On Wednesday, following Trump’s lunch meeting with Senate Republicans to discuss tax reform and other issues, former Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said the president “has a personality disorder.”

“We have a leader who has a personality disorder,” Coburn told The New York Times. “But he’s done what he actually told the people he was going to do, and they’re not going to abandon him.”

Coburn, a former medical doctor who served in the Senate from 2005 through 2015, was explaining why he doubts that other GOP senators would speak out against the president like Corker and Flake had.

But conservative columnist David Brooks, in a Times column on Friday, wrote that some GOP senators thought Trump “might be suffering from early Alzheimer’s” following their Wednesday lunch meeting.

“The Republican senators went to the White House and saw a president so repetitive and rambling, some thought he might be suffering from early Alzheimer’s,” Brooks wrote. “But they know which way the wind is blowing. They gave him a standing ovation.”

That ovation was referencing what both Trump and other GOP senators spoke of following the meeting. Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana first told reporters that senators gave Trump “three standing ovations,” which Trump later tweeted about Wednesday morning in an attempt to deflect from Corker and Flake’s criticism.

“The meeting with Republican Senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!” Trump tweeted, adding in a follow-up tweet that, “Jeff Flake, with an 18% approval rating in Arizona, said “a lot of my colleagues have spoken out.” Really, they just gave me a standing O!”

Earlier this week, BuzzFeed reported that Democrats, such as Rep. Jackie Speier of California, are actually going as far as calling psychologists to discuss the president’s mental state. One psychiatric professor at Yale said about half a dozen lawmakers had contacted her over the past several months.

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