Is Donald J. Trump impaired: Did Donald J. Trump misspeak yesterday? Did he mean to say what's shown below when the AP's Jonathan Lemire put him on the spot?
LEMIRE (7/16/18): My second question is, would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin—would you denounce what happened in 2016? And would you warn him to never do it again?"I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be [Russia]?" Is that what he meant to say? To review the full transcript, click here.
TRUMP: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven't they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I've been wondering that. I've been asking that for months and months, and I've been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know, where is the server? And what is the server saying?
With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me—Dan Coats came to me and some others—they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it's not Russia.
I will say this: I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be [Russia]...
Is that what Donald J. Trump meant to say? As always, everything's possible! That said, if you read the commander's full statement to Lemire, his statement makes a lot more sense if you assume that he said what he actually meant.
(As a basic courtesy, avert your gaze from his rambling comments about the server. More on that tendency below.)
Trump's full statement makes much more sense if you assume that he didn't misspeak. On the other hand...
On the other hand, here's the commander's first Q-and-A, including his response to Jeff Mason's open-ended question. By normal standards, this answer might seem to suggest that Donald J. Trump did believe that the Russkies interfered in the 2016 election:
MASON (7/16/18): Mr. President, you tweeted this morning that it's U.S. foolishness, stupidity, and the Mueller probe that is responsible for the decline in U.S. relations with Russia. Do you hold Russia at all accountable for anything in particular? And if so, what would you consider them—that they are responsible for?By normal standards, Trump almost seems to be saying, in the highlighted passage, that interference did occur, but with "virtually none of it related to the campaign." In this answer, it almost sounds like Trump believes that the Russkies did interfere, but he doesn't really care all that much beyond the insistence that there was no collusion.
TRUMP: Yes, I do. I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago—a long time, frankly, before I got to office. And I think we're all to blame. I think that the United States now has stepped forward, along with Russia. And we're getting together. And we have a chance to do some great things, whether it's nuclear proliferation, in terms of stopping—because we have to do it. Ultimately, that's probably the most important thing that we can be working on.
But I do feel that we have both made some mistakes. I think that the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it's kept us apart. It's kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. People are being brought out to the fore—so far that I know, virtually none of it related to the campaign. And they're going to have try really hard to find somebody that did relate to the campaign. That was a clean campaign. I beat Hillary Clinton easily. And frankly, we beat her—and I'm not even saying from the standpoint—we won that race. And it's a shame that there can even be a little bit of a cloud over it...
What did Donald J. Trump actually think or mean? In one circumstance after another, dating back to his announcement speech, it has been extremely hard to say.
By light-years, he seems to be the most mentally muddled individual who ever sat in the Oval. This leads us again to a type of question which really ought to be asked:
Among other possible sources of chaos, is it possible that Donald J. Trump is mentally impaired in some way? Along with the possibility that he's being blackmailed or bribed, is it possible that he is suffering from some form of early onset dementia? Are we currently being led by a King Lear with nuclear codes?
As of today, many more pundits are openly asking if Donald J. Trump is being blackmailed. That strikes us as a very good question. So do questions about his mental health and his intellectual competence.
He simply can't stop rambling on about Hillary Clinton. King Lear was a lot like that. Among other possible sources of chaos, is it possible that Donald J. Trump is impaired?