SWEET: Questions about Trump’s mental, physical health brewing

SHARE SWEET: Questions about Trump’s mental, physical health brewing

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Republican senators on immigration in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Washington. | Andrew Harnik/AP photo

WASHINGTON — Is President Donald Trump mentally fit for office? Will Trump release results of the physical he is taking next week — his first as commander in chief?

The latest concerns about Trump’s mental stability were fueled in the past few days by the tell-all revelations in ‘Fire and Fury,’ by Michael Wolff.

Though Trump’s personal lawyer tried to prevent the sale of the book by sending a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff and his publisher, all that did was speed up its release. It’s out on Friday.

The answer to the question about Trump’s mental health depends on whom you ask.

A Republican operative told me when he was at Mar-a-Largo a few weeks ago for a dinner, no one at Trump’s Florida resort was questioning Trump’s mental state.

So there.


Democrats in the meantime are trying to figure out a way to invoke the 25th Amendment for the first time — that’s the one where a president can be removed from office if he can’t discharge his duties because of a physical or mental condition.

My take on the question of what the public will learn about Trump’s Jan. 12 physical exam is . . .

Trump, 71, who does not exercise and is not careful about what he eats, wants the nation to know his body mass index about as much as he wants to release his tax returns.

Barack Obama and other presidents have allowed their doctors to provide a detailed medical report. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has pledged a “readout.”

Obama’s March 8, 2016, physical, besides the body mass index, disclosed his weight, resting heart rate, pulse and the results of pulmonary, cardiac, gastrointestinal and other tests and studies.

In addition there were lab results for cholesterol, fasting blood glucose tests and the list of medications being taken. Obama got good grades for a healthy diet and consistent exercise.

You may recall that in December 2015, Trump’s personal physician, Harold Bornstein, declared that Trump “will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

We’ll see.

There are other reasons besides the Wolff book to wonder about Trump’s mental competence.

How about that risky and innuendo-laced Tweet on Tuesday night taunting North Korea leader Kim Jong Un over whose nuclear button is bigger?

Or Trump’s compulsion to disregard facts, even when he has been proven wrong?

Or his insistence that everything he does is bigger and better than every president before him?

Republicans feel they have to be circumspect about Trump’s behavior. But Trump’s erratic moves energizes Democrats who are itching to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to force Trump out of the White House.

Now this is not impeachment.

This is about using the 25th Amendment for the first time to remove a president from office for a physical or mental incapacity.

Section 4 says when the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet members or Congress find “that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

In May, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., found 20 cosponsors — all Dems — for his “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act.”

Raskin’s measure would have Congress create an independent nonpartisan commission — including a physician and a psychiatrist — to determine if a president could not carry out the job because for physical or psychological reasons.

As of Thursday, Raskin now has 56 cosponsors, include Illinois Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez.

At the Thursday briefing, Sanders was asked, “What’s the President’s reaction to the growing number of suggestions, both in this book and in the media, that he’s mentally unfit to serve as President?”

Replied Sanders, “The same way we have when it’s been asked before: that it’s disgraceful and laughable.”

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