The rally was wild, even by Trump’s standards. He accused the media of “trying to take away our history, our heritage,” and threatened to shut down the federal government in order to get funding for a wall between the United States and Mexico.
CNN commentators said it was difficult to watch Trump speak and not question whether he was fit for office. They discussed the 25th Amendment, which allows for the vice president to initiate a process by which the president can be removed from office if his Cabinet deems him to be unfit.
“He alternated between being a whiny 6-year-old who’s had his Nintendo taken away and between being the cranky old man who’s being out there condemning everyone who doesn’t worship him adequately.”
“There was no sanity there. He was like a child blaming a sibling on something else,” CNN’s Don Lemon said immediately after the rally. “A man clearly wounded by the rational people who are abandoning him in droves, meaning those business people and the people in Washington now who are questioning his fitness for office and whether he is stable.”
David Chalian, CNN’s political director, said Trump was “totally unhinged” during the speech. Rick Wilson, a conservative pundit, went even further.
“It was an astounding chain of lies tied together by lunatic asides by a man who obviously is mentally unstable. I mean, I’m not joking about it or being a smartass; this is a man who is not well,” Wilson said. “This is a man who is not qualified or mentally or morally fit to be the president of the United States and tonight was one more proof of it.”
“He alternated between being a whiny 6-year-old who’s had his Nintendo taken away and between being the cranky old man who’s being out there condemning everyone who doesn’t worship him adequately,” he added. “I know the 25th Amendment is a remote possibility, but if people around him don’t think this guy is absolutely batcrap crazy, they are mistaken.”
Carl Bernstein, one of the journalists who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” that reporters needed to ask more questions about Trump’s ability to be president.
Even among Washington’s heated rhetoric, it’s unusual for pundits and journalists to comment on someone’s mental state. But Trump’s erratic behavior has pushed boundaries, leading many to speculate on his fitness for office.
The American Psychoanalytic Association has offered ethical guidance to members for decades, typically telling them to refrain from weighing in on the psychological state of public figures. But in July, the organization encouraged members to publicly offer behavioral analysis if they wanted.
Maria Cardona, a CNN political contributor, said Tuesday that Trump might be “psychotically demented.”
“I do believe that after tonight a lot of people are going to be thinking that he’s not just completely unfit, that he’s just completely ill-equipped to hold this office but that he might be psychotically demented and ill of the mind in order to take this office and in order to continue with this office,” she said.
Lawmakers have also questioned Trump’s competence.
“The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. And we need for him to be successful, our nation needs for him to be successful,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters last week.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has called for Trump to be removed from office using the 25th Amendment. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced a resolution calling for Trump to undergo a mental health exam.