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8 Monday, August 26, 2019 07:35

The hardest Trump story for the press to cover

New York (CNN Business)More erratic, more often.I spent the week talking with major media figures at networks and newspapers. And that was the consensus: President Trumps behavior is getting worse in type and in frequency. It seems hes acting more erratic more often. Calling Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell an enemy and comparing him to the communist leader of China — sending the markets into a free fall — is one of the most recent examples.

This raises a question: Are members of the news media tiptoeing around obvious questions about Trumps instability? What do the daily lies, distortions and contradictions add up to?This is a story thats playing out every day on our TV screens and Twitter feeds. We can all see it happening, but its a very hard and very sensitive story to cover.

Some prominent figures, including the husband of counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, are pleading with the press to take this story more seriously. On Friday, George Conway said Trump is decomposing before our very eyes.Read MoreRepublicans need to face the fact that the president is mentally unstable and psychologically unfit, he wrote.

Conways Twitter feed is practically devoted to this subject. On Saturday, Conway critiqued an editorial in the Wall Street Journal assailing Trumps trade war tactics by saying the paper elided a question more fundamental than that of the trade war: What does Trumps irrational rage tweet against Powell say about Trumps mental stability and fitness? The elephant is there, in the room, sitting on the couch, making itself at home.

A fine editorial, but it elides a question more fundamental than that of the trade war: What does Trumps irrational rage tweet against Powell say about Trumps mental stability and fitness?The elephant is there, in the room, sitting on the couch, making itself at home. https://t.co/RwZNEH1koj— George Conway (@gtconway3d) August 24, 2019Conway, who asserts that Trump has narcissistic personality disorder, is far from alone.

Trumps mental health keeps being invoked by commentators online and on television.In recent interviews the Trump-promoter-turned-detractor Anthony Scaramucci has been saying mental breakdown. Former congressman Joe Walsh, who announced a primary challenge to Trump on Sunday, simply says the president is nuts.

Democratic candidates for president have made similar charges.I recognize that some of this has been going on ever since the election. A vocal group of psychiatrists have been suggesting Trump is unwell for years. And Trumps fiercest critics have been fantasizing about his removal under the 25th Amendment.

But the volume is different now. And this summers news headlines have given people plenty of reasons to worry. The list includes Trump making racist comments about Baltimore and Democratic lawmakers; repeating ridiculous claims about voter fraud; retweeting conspiracy theories; bragging about his visits to hospitals in Dayton and El Paso; and denying things everyone heard him say.

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