Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said on Thursday that White House insiders have told him that President Trump is in “the early stages of dementia.” Scarborough said on his show that Trump is “completely detached from reality.”
“You have somebody inside the White House that the New York Daily News says is mentally unfit,” Scarborough said. “That people close to him say is mentally unfit, that people close to him during the campaign told me had early stages of dementia.”
Scarborough also said that he believes the US is closer to war with North Korea than the Administration admits. “We heard this months ago,” he said, “that we are going to have a ground war in Korea, they believed that inside the White House for a very long time.”
“If this is not what the 25th Amendment was drafted for,” Scarborough added.
“Then what is it for?” cohost Mika Brzezinski finished.
The 25th Amendment addresses presidential succession. The fourth section of the amendment allows the vice president to assume the presidency if the vice president and a majority of either cabinet officials or Congress decide that the president is “unable to discharge” his duties.
There are seven stages of dementia that range from mild cognitive decline, such as normal forgetfulness associated with aging, to very severe cognitive decline in which people cannot communicate and must be assisted with even basic activities such as eating and using the toilet. It isn’t clear to which stage Scarborough is referring, but “early stage dementia,” characterized by moderate cognitive decline, includes difficulty concentrating, decreased memory of recent events, trouble completing complex tasks and withdrawing from family and friends.
Scarborough’s tirade comes a day after a tweet by Trump that called for MSNBC to “investigate” an “’unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago.”
The tweet alludes to the death of Lori Klausutis, an intern in Scarborough’s office when he was a Florida congressman. There was no sign of foul play or suicide and the medical examiner ruled that Klausutis had died after hitting her head in a fall caused by heart problems.
Scarborough is not the only person to suggest that President Trump is mentally ill. Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist in the Washington Post, also suggested on Wednesday that a 25th amendment solution might be necessary, citing Trump’s recent alleged claims that the “Access Hollywood” tape was faked and that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
Scarborough and Donald Trump have engaged in a long-running feud even though Scarborough initially supported Trump. The “Morning Joe” hosts broke with Trump and called him a racist for his comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel in June 2016. The feud reached a boiling point in June 2017 when Trump launched a vicious twitter attack on both Scarborough and Brzezinski, his “Morning Joe” cohost and fiancé.