December 29, 2017

Anyone who takes the time to read the Trump interview with the New York Times and doesn't come away believing he is unfit for office are delusional themselves. Beyond the fact that he gave an interview to a New York Times reporter who did not see fit to challenge any of his outlandish claims, the claims themselves were so disturbing that they present a true danger to this country.

John Harwood and David Cay Johnston agreed. On The Last Word Thursday night, both of them referred to Trump as "delusional," and they were not just tossing the word around as a gratuitous slam.

Here is the transcript, but I recommend watching the video to see their shock and discomfort with the things Trump said.

HARWOOD: I think this interview is profoundly disturbing, if you read it and think about it. The way the president speaks in such grandiose terms about himself suggests a level of delusion. I save coal. I was treated better than anyone in the history of China. I did things that Ronald Reagan couldn't do. The news media has to keep me president because the entire media system would fall apart without me. This suggests a level of mental functioning which is not particularly acute and when he starts talking about the Russia investigation and he says 16 times there's been no collusion, absolutely no collusion, everyone agrees there's no collusion and some point you're just kind of babbling and this is the President of the United States and it cannot be even people who support his policies to hear him speak in this way.

MELBER: Is this in format, John, not in substance but in format is this a sort of end of year coda to the remarks he made to as many business leaders and people across the spectrum to the great shame of Charlottesville in that these were both times where his staff and his team and the professionals around him from General John Kelly on down to his family did not want, did not plan or orchestrate for him to do this and he just breaks out of all rules and convention against any strategy to speak, to do what he feels he must do and in doing so offer some revelations about as you put it his state of mind but also a total lack of protecting his own self interest?

HARWOOD: Precisely. He doesn't seem to be aware of what he is revealing in these interviews. And the -- anyone who speaks about himself in the kind of terms that he does, absolute right to control the justice department, I know more than the greatest CPA. These are statements that are obviously cartoonishly ridiculous. And the fact that the president would feel free to say them to the New York Times suggests that he is not perceiving his own best interests or the interests of the White House.

MELBER: David, no offense to CPAs. It's not even a brag I'm that familiar with that people who have ascended to high office or being president would feel the need to go there. It seems that in the China remarks, in being the center of the media capitalist universe, in the CPA remarks, in his claim that he has a better mastery of health care than most presidents and when he said no one knew it would be this quote it, but together when's the over-organizing principle here?

CAY JOHNSTON: Well, Donald lives in this world where he creates his own reality and if he says it that means it's true. And he's delusional. John is exactly right about this. Donald is delusional. I know -- i'm attacked by all sorts of people for saying this but he is. He is delusional and you are seeing his, you know, this manifestation of his belief.

CAY JOHNSTON: Donald, remember, believes and he's actually said at times he's superior to the rest of us. That, of course, he should be president. And you're seeing in this interview ridiculous and John had the right phrase -- cartoonish statements about himself.

CAY JOHNSTON: The interview also shows by the way that he's scared. The comments as I read them knowing Donald now for almost 30 years, his comments about Mueller and the implication that if I don't think he's fair to me i'll get rid of Mueller one way or another goes to the heart of power unto himself.

Is he trying to make a case for a 25th Amendment removal? Or is he just a megalomaniacal loon? Maybe both. Maybe he's a loon and we should be using that option in the Constitution.

Either way, no sane person comes away from that interview without being seriously disturbed.

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