Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem states the obvious on why we won't see Republicans do squat about Trump no matter how much they privately question his mental abilities before the 2018 midterm elections.
January 7, 2018

With all of the speculation about Trump and his fitness for office since the release of Michael Wolff's new book (and Trump himself taking to Twitter yesterday to respond) the topic of whether anyone will finally invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office was being discussed on every single one of the Sunday talk shows this weekend.

Trump took to Twitter again this morning and made the unfortunate analogy to how Ronald Reagan was treated when he was in office...

...which, as the panel on CNN's Reliable Sources pointed out, probably wasn't the wisest parallel to offer, given the fact that, as we all know, it turned out everyone was right to be concerned about his mental health, given the fact that Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Host Brian Stelter asked one of his guests, Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem, whether or not it was uncomfortable having to bring up the topic during the contentious White House press briefing this week, and Karem said it was, but insisted the press should not be shy about following this story anyway. Karem also stated the obvious about what we can expect from Trump's fellow Republicans, despite the fact that many of them are privately voicing concerns about whether he's fit to hold office:

STELTER: Brian, you asked a follow-up question about whether this week's physical that president Trump will be having will include a neurological exam or a look at his mental acuity. Was it uncomfortable for you to say that to the press secretary at the White House?

KAREM: It was very uncomfortable and I want to take issue with a couple of my esteemed colleagues that have already spoken. As far as Carl was saying, we don't need any new reporting, any new type of reporting. We need to follow the story, follow his own advice in that regards. We need to follow this story. It is uncomfortable to ask the question. There's not an ethical problem, I don't believe, in asking the question.

As far as being painted as an enemy of the people, he's already done that. And we have to deal with that. No one in that press room that I know wants to be a part of the story. Unfortunately, he's made us a part of the story and it is very uncomfortable to have to ask that question. I did not like asking that question. I don't want to have to ask that question. But in so much as his tweets and his own actions have led us to that point, we must now ask those questions.


I know Jamie Raskin from Maryland has tried to invoke the 25th Amendment. I know there is movement in Congress to do so. But if anyone thinks that the Republicans are going to come forward and embrace this on the record, they really don't understand what's going on in Washington, because right now the Republicans merely see president Trump as a vehicle to get everything they want passed, and they are going to push through as much as they can before the 2018 midterm elections and depending on what happens in those elections, then you may see a come to Jesus moment where they say, “Hey, we have to do something about it.”

But don't expect anything like that prior to the midterm elections because they are too busy trying to push forward their agenda and this president is so anxious to have just a win notched on his belt, that he's going to sign anything that the republicans bring to him.

So there is not going to be any serious consideration of his mental health, I don't think, by the Republicans that I've spoken to and I've spoken to many of them, including those who are walking away. I mean, Senator Flake and others who have decided to give it up and move away still back some of the agenda because it is their agenda.

And they're going to continue to do that as long as they see any chance of victory on their agenda and that's a sad state of affairs that we are putting politics ahead of politics ahead of mental health, and that's a real issue.

I would add the fact that many of them are complicit in Trump's criminality, and I wouldn't rule out blackmail, but he's absolutely right about the lot of them putting their agenda and their tax cuts ahead of the good of the country.

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