Does Donald Trump Have Dementia?

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As people analyze the flurry of rambling misstatements, outright lies and flip-flops coming from the toupeed totalitarian sitting in the Oval Office, credible voices who once giggled at Donald Trump’s antics have stopped laughing and started asking a very serious question:

Is the president of the United States suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s?


Rice University history professor and leading presidential historians Douglas Brinkley analyzed Trump’s interviews from over the last few days. Brinkley, who has read hundreds—if not thousands—of transcripts and presidential interviews, concluded that Trump seemed to have a “confused mental state,” the likes of which he has never seen. “It seems to be among the most bizarre recent 24 hours in American presidential history,” Brinkley told Politico magazine.

If Douglas Brinkley is not the top presidential historian in the world, then Jon Meacham is certainly in the running for that title. During an appearance Monday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Meacham and host Joe Scarborough had a conversation about the latest White House fiascoes. Scarborough said Trump “was mumbling, he was rambling around, incoherent, and then just sort of quit talking. Walked off.”

This conversation is significant for two reasons: Scarborough has a long relationship with Trump, and during the transition and early days of Trump’s presidency, Scarborough made numerous trips to both Trump’s home and his Mar-a-Lago estate. The second reason is that Scarborough’s words reflect his own personal experience—Scarborough’s mother suffers from dementia.

“My mother’s had dementia for 10 years,” Scarborough remarked concerning Trump’s wondering why “no one ever asks” about the Civil War. “That sounds like the sort of thing my mother would say today.”

Even more troubling is the fact that Trump’s medical records, released during the campaign, are basically a cursory exam, filled with hyperbole, written by a family friend who is a gastroenterologist. Oh yeah, we also have that time he went on Dr. Oz.


Donald Trump is the oldest man ever to be sworn in as president, surpassing the record held by Ronald Reagan—who died in 2004 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, people who have a parent, brother or sister with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease.

At the time of his death in 1999, Fred Trump—the father of Donald Trump—had suffered from Alzheimer’s for six years.

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Michael Harriot

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.