Donald Trump messed up again Friday in comments at a news conference scolding “Judge Flores” for a ruling on immigrant minors the president called “a disaster.” There was no such judge in the case — it involved a teenage immigrant named Flores.
The error was the latest in a mounting string of mistakes the president has made in the last four weeks that are raising concerns about his mental health.
This time Trump complained about “bad court decisions,” specifically in Reno v. Flores. “Judge Flores, whoever you may be, that decision is a disaster for our country,” said a somber-faced Trump as he sat with border officials in front of reporters in Calexico, California.
The case, which seeks better treatment for detained migrant children, involved 15-year-old lead plaintiff Jenny Lisette Flores, who had fled war-torn El Salvador alone in 1985. A decision by the Supreme Court in the case resulted in the 1997 Flores Settlement that established basic humane treatment of immigrant minors in federal custody, including that they cannot be held in detention for more than 20 days. The Trump administration has so far unsuccessfully challenged the settlement in court.
Reporters listening to the president were agog.
Trump earlier this week referred twice on camera to the “oranges” of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller, once correctly pronouncing “origins.” He said Tuesday that his father was born in Germany (he was born in the Bronx). Last week he called Venezuela a “company.”
Late last month, Trump insisted that televisions suddenly turn off when the wind stops blowing if they’re linked to power grids that use wind power. Earlier in March, he referred to Apple CEO Tim Cook as “Tim Apple” — then later claimed he used the incorrect name to save time.
“I think he’s suffering from pre-dementia. And it’s only getting worse,” said John Gartner, a clinical psychologist with practices in New York City and Baltimore.