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‘Staggering Omission’ in Trump’s Official Health Assessment: Yale Psychiatrist

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On Friday, White House doctors released the results of President Donald Trump’s physical. They concluded that Trump is in “very good health overall,” but could afford to lose some weight.

But missing from the assessment was any information about Trump’s mental health. Yale psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee, who edited “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” thinks the president suffers from mental problems that present a far bigger danger than his cholesterol levels.

Raw Story spoke with Lee about the president’s psychological problems and what should be done about it.

Tana Ganeva: What do you think of the president’s health care results?

Bandy X. Lee: What is staggering are the omissions. It is almost as if the White House doctor took an “It won’t exist if we don’t look” attitude. The most pressing questions, in my mind, are: Is the president capable of protecting the interests of the United States? Is he capable of keeping the country safe without placing it in further danger? Is he capable of discharging the duties of his office?

These are not comfortable questions to ask, but there cannot be a more urgent matter; any other consideration is of far lower priority. These questions have become more medical than political because of the severity of his signs of impairment.

When it becomes obvious that the president is incapable of making political decisions because he lacks the capacity to make rational decisions altogether, he should be tested medically.

Tana Ganeva: But the President’s apparent irrationality is being ignored?

Bandy X. Lee: This issue has been completely ignored. My Yale colleague of internal medicine Dr. Anna Reisman stated that one would “not need to see” the results of the president’s exam, as they will likely be false reassurances.

Medical ethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan of NYU School of Medicine said he “won’t be listening” to the outcome. It is unfortunate that so many have come to view the release of information as being less informative than no release at all.

The theatrical nature is observable in other ways. For instance, why were there “11 Board certified specialists”? All we have called for was a functional, mental capacity evaluation; this takes only one specialist, that is, an independent, forensic mental health professional.

The second most important specialist might be a cardiologist, but whether or not Mr. Trump consults one is his private affair, since he is not posing an imminent danger to the public because of a cardiac condition. He is, however, already posing a danger to the public, as objective reports and empirical evidence confirm, because of the multiple and consistent signs of emotional instability, cognitive decline, and violence-proneness. That there is some unseen logic that outweighs the harm—or that Mr. Trump is even capable of it—would only be proven in an exam, and the onus should now be on the president.

Tana Ganeva: The president is not likely to seek mental health care.

Bandy X. Lee: We know that those who need mental health care the most are the least likely to submit to proper evaluation and treatment. Mr. Trump’s reappointment of Dr. Ronny Jackson, who declared him “mentally fit to serve” last year despite lacking the training or the independence to do so, therefore, stands out as a warning signal if not a symptom.

Those who have awaited Mr. Trump’s annual exam for clarification on the false “mental health exam” a year ago, which was neither replaced nor redone after Dr. Jackson himself was removed from his position as the president’s personal physician, will be rightly disappointed. As a reminder, Dr. Jackson, in response to the public’s concerns over the president’s mental stability, performed a sham 10-minute dementia screen on which full-blown Alzheimer patients and hospitalized schizophrenia patients are known to score up to 30 out of 30.

Fitness for duty, in any case, is determined not through a personal health exam but through an independent functional test that evaluates a person’s ability to do a job and not to put others in danger.

Tana Ganeva: You’ve officially recommended that President Trump be tested for mental fitness. What did that look like?

Bandy X. Lee: The World Mental Health Coalition’s working group on an expert panel for presidential fitness created an ad hoc committee for dangerousness because of presidential incapacity last year, and we sent a letter to all members of Congress before Mr. Trump’s nomination of a Supreme Court justice and his Helsinki conference with Vladimir Putin.

Our recommendation was for him to undergo testing before he embarked on any more critical decisions, given the serious signs of mental incapacity that he had shown. We know the outcomes of the controversial Supreme Court justice nominee at the time (who himself exhibited many signs of impairment) and the very bizarre Helsinki conference, where Mr. Trump sided with a nation that attacked us against our country’s own intelligence officials.

Yesterday, the ad hoc committee issued another letter of warning to all Congress members addressing the president’s need to demonstrate mental capacity before making additional critical decisions such as declaring a national emergency. As of today, he has done so against all advice and despite the absence of any evidence of an emergency.

Tana Ganeva: What other acts by the president made you worried?

Bandy X. Lee: He has created many emergencies. As of February 1, 2019, he has withdrawn the U.S. from a long-standing nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, reversing course from decades of arms control diplomacy and setting the stage for a new nuclear arms race. Meanwhile, other nuclear powers, such as North Korea, Pakistan, and India, are following suit. Despite this initiation, Mr. Trump stated that he believes he had “no choice” but to withdraw, and would rather “outspend and out-innovate all others” in the production of weapons of mass destruction. As expected, Russian President Putin vowed to do the same. This is precisely what numerous mental health professionals have warned against, in underscoring Mr. Trump’s “psychological attraction” to nuclear weapons and nuclear war, especially in the public-service book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.

Tana Ganeva: What’s your overall message about the president’s ability to lead?

Bandy X. Lee: Mental health is inseparable from overall health. The absence of the typical degenerative diseases of old age is not only a sign of good health if we consider the larger context. In my twenty years of treating violent offenders, I have often seen arrested emotional development have the side effect of unexpectedly lower levels of the typical adult diseases stemming from the stress of being responsible for and worrying about others, the larger society, or the world.

These individuals may more often be in a wheelchair or walk with a cane by age thirty, or suffer from head trauma-induced dementia, than be plagued of the typical cardiac or cerebrovascular problems that afflict older individuals. The condition Mr. Trump does have—obesity—is a well-known adult consequence of childhood emotional trauma, precisely the kind that can lead to arrested development. Physical signs of dangerous individuals are not well studied, but we know that they often have oddities in speech (I have especially found a difficulty in pronouncing “s” in ways that are unrelated to mechanical problems) and excessive hand gestures that compensate for poor speech. These are both observed in the president but are unlikely to be picked up by a physician performing a limited physical exam.

The signs are numerous, and we recognize the pattern very well. It is time that the president undergo proper testing and be offered proper care, rather than further enable his pathology.

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama

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Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.

“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.

“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.

“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

That is also false.

The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

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‘So Much Worse!’ Morning Joe Rips GOP for Defending Trump After Burying Clinton Over Classified Info

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough hammered Republicans for spending years excoriating Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified materials and then turning around defending Donald Trump over far worse allegations.

The FBI carried out a search of Mar-A-Lago this week, where agents reportedly expected to find nuclear secrets among the classified materials Trump took from the White House, and Scarborough and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski laid into Republicans for attacking law enforcement to protect the former president from serious allegations.

“The conundrum you just put out there,” Brzezinski said, “about it being just as bad when a Democrat has some improper use of classified documents as when a Republican does, on this show, you will see us saying the same thing in each situation. Roll the tape, you know, rewind the tape — critical of Hillary Clinton, everything to do with the email, very, very critical. Here, you have a situation where Trump’s following and his friends on TV won’t cover the story the same way. In fact, they will go to fantastical lengths to not ask the right questions, to twist the truth, to push his big lies. It is dangerous.”

Scarborough said there was no comparison between what Clinton did and what Trump has been accused of doing, even as the facts remain scant.

READ MORE: ‘Deranged’ Republicans have gone off the rails with FBI attacks after Mar-a-Lago search: conservative

“What is so maddening about the Republican response to this is, despite the fact — and I hope our liberal friends can deal with this — despite the fact we brought up Hillary Clinton’s emails, in this same time, we’re bringing up Donald Trump’s classified information that he’s reportedly taken to Mar-A-Lago, there is no moral equivalency,” Scarborough said. “The two are brought up because what Donald Trump has done is so much worse, so much more dangerous.”

An Ohio man tried to force his way into FBI headquarters in Cincinnati on Thursday, apparently prompted by Republican attacks on law enforcement officials over the Trump search, and Scarborough called out their violent rhetoric.

“The order of magnitude is overwhelming, and I bring it up to make a bigger point about Republican hypocrisy,” Scarborough said. “They were worried about a former secretary of state’s emails. They’re completely discounting the possibility of nuclear secrets being stolen from the White House and taken down to Mar-A-Lago and hidden from the Department of Justice.”

“Where are the Republicans? Where are the Republicans? Where are the Republicans?” he added. “Hold a press conference, condemn these actions, condemn the hate speech, condemn the targeting of law enforcement officers. Condemn the targeting of FBI agents and professionals at the Department of Justice. Is there not one that will do it?”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

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DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice served Donald Trump with a grand jury subpoena months before the FBI raided the former President’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday, according to a right wing media outlet.

News of the existence of the grand jury subpoena being served on Trump months ago comes from Just the News, a website created by John Solomon. Solomon is a longtime journalist who in 2019 was labeled by The Daily Beast as “the Trumpian right’s favorite ‘investigative reporter,'” and the “Trump-friendly scribe” whose “Biden-Ukraine conspiracies were cited multiple times in the whistleblower memo.”

“Many of his co-workers are ashamed to be associated with him,” The Daily Beast reported, citing “his questionable reporting, which often seems specifically tailored to stoke the flames of right-wing paranoia.”

READ MORE: ‘Same Answer’: Trump Sat Across From the NY Attorney General and Pleaded the Fifth to Each Question For About 5 Hours

Solomon on Thursday writes: “Two months before his Florida home was raided by the FBI, former President Donald Trump secretly received a grand jury subpoena for classified documents belonging to the National Archives, and voluntarily cooperated by turning over responsive evidence, surrendering security surveillance footage and allowing federal agents and a senior Justice Department lawyer to tour his private storage locker, according to a half dozen people familiar with the incident.”

If accurate, that’s news.

“Very clearly not the intention of that John Solomon article, but it inadvertently reflects very well upon the Justice Department,” NBC News Justice reporter covering the DOJ, Ryan J. Reilly observes. “A subpoena was issued to the former president of the United States and it held for nearly three months, until Trump’s own team publicly disclosed it!”

READ MORE: Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’

National security and civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler adds: “Here’s what propagandist John Solomon says FBI had reason to believe Trump didn’t turn over in the original 15 box collection of stolen documents: Correspondence with foreign leaders.”

She points to this section of Solomon’s article:

“The subpoena requested any remaining documents Trump possessed with any classification markings, even if they involved photos of foreign leaders, correspondence or mementos from his presidency.”

According to multiple news outlets, FBI agents carted away an additional 10 to 12 cartons on Monday, in addition to the 15 the National Archives was forced to travel to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve earlier this year.

Even Rupert Murdoch’s Trump-friendly New York Post on Tuesday reported a “showdown over the materials first erupted back in January when the National Archives said it had retrieved 15 boxes of White House records — including classified information — from Mar-a-Lago that Trump should have turned over when he left office. The feds took another 12 boxes of material on Monday.”

 

 

 

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