“What I said was that the only defensible excuse, the only defensible explanation is if he is not mentally well because if he is, then he is just such an incredible, self-centered, narcissistic, unfit jerk that it makes it that much worse,” said Navarro.
After the president’s unhinged speech in Phoenix on Tuesday night, the CNN political commentator and Republican strategist took to Twitter to say that the only explanation for Trump’s “disgusting, unpresidential, narcissistic behavior would be early-on-set dementia.”
On Wednesday, Navarro appeared on CNN’s New Day with Alisyn Camerota and conservative radio host Ben Ferguson. Navarro got in a heated debate with Ferguson about her tweet.
Ferguson argued that Trump’s speech was a “classic campaign rally speech,” saying:
“I think people that criticize the president and they constantly say, ‘well, he’s unpresidential’ or ‘he’s unhinged’ or ‘he is outside the realm.’ The same people that are saying that are the ones that are tweeting things like ‘I think the president has dementia’ or ‘I think it’s time to unseat the president’ or ‘I think it’s time to impeach him.’ If you don’t like the president, it doesn’t mean that you have to go to personal attacks or to somehow say that his mind is not sane. That’s a very, very, very bitter thing to say.”
The two quibbled back and forth, with Navarro defending her initial tweet by stating, “Let me say this. I did not say he had dementia.”
Ferguson argued that she implied it.
“No, no, no. Go read my tweet. It’s right there,” said Navarro.
She elaborated that, “The only thing that would make it defensible is if he really is not well. If sometime later in the future we find out he has something. I’m not saying he has it.”
Among the many things Trump said in his speech on Tuesday that sparked Navarro’s tweet, two particularly egregious comments were his argument that the media are “trying to take away our history, our heritage” and his remark that he has a “bigger, more beautiful apartment” than the journalists who cover him.