Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, a professor at Rice University, is worried about the mental state of Donald Trump
In a recent interview with Politico he said: “It seems to be among the most bizarre recent 24 hours in American presidential history…it was just surreal disarray and a confused mental state from the president.”
Over at U.S. News and World Report, Kenneth T. Walsh lists all the strange things that have happened in the last 24-48 hours. Trump:
- Noted in a Bloomberg News interview Monday that he would be “honored” to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under the “right circumstances” but didn’t elaborate. Kim is one of the most brutal dictators in the world and his regime is developing nuclear weapons which he is threatening to use against the United States. Trump called Kim a “pretty smart cookie.” He has also recently praised another brutal strongman, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and invited Duterte to the White House. Trump’s critics blasted him for cozying up to dictators.
- Told the SiriusXM radio network that if Andrew Jackson‘s presidency had “been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had a Civil War. He was a very tough person but he had a big heart.” Jackson was a slave owner and a persecutor of native Americans. In a follow-up to his interview with SiriusXM, Trump wrote on Twitter, “President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started [in 1861], saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!” Trump’s critics say he showed a deep misunderstanding of history.
- Suggested to Bloomberg that he might support an increase in the federal gasoline tax to finance his plans to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. His aides backed off this idea a short time later.
- Muddied his administration’s stance on a key provision in a pending health care bill. Trump made confusing statements to Bloomberg about whether the bill would adequately protect Americans who have pre-existing medical conditions as they try to obtain insurance. Trump said he wants the bill to include such protections. The pending legislation is designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of President Barack Obama.
- Said he is considering whether to break up big banks but offered no details. He told Bloomberg he is “looking at that right now.” What Trump is considering, apparently, is the separation of commercial and investment banks, a system which was repealed in 1999.
- Called congressional procedures and rules “archaic” because he can’t get legislators to quickly enact his proposals. “It’s just a very, very bureaucratic system,” Trump told CBS. “I think the rules in Congress and, in particular, the rules in the Senate, are unbelievably archaic and slow-moving.” He didn’t offer any detailed thoughts on improvements.
Read Walsh’s entire piece here.