Blockbuster new book reveals Mick Mulvaney thought it was a good thing Donald Trump is mentally ill

Blockbuster new book reveals Mick Mulvaney thought it was a good thing Donald Trump is mentally ill
White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney speaks with reporters Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Ousted White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney suggested it may be a good thing that President Donald Trump is mentally ill, including 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.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.