Yale psychiatrist briefed Congress members on Trump’s mental state
CNN reports that a Yale psychiatrist briefed a group of Congress persons about the mental fitness of President Donald Trump. Dr. Bandy X. Lee met with them on Capitol Hill in early December, and has been asked to speak with additional lawmakers, worried about the President’s mental state later this month (bottom-line, her recommendation is that he is unstable).
”Lawmakers were saying they have been very concerned about this, the President’s dangerousness, the dangers that his mental instability poses on the nation,” Lee told CNN in a phone interview Thursday, “They know the concern is universal among Democrats, but it really depends on Republicans, they said. Some knew of Republicans that were concerned, maybe equally concerned, but whether they would act on those concerns was their worry.”
The briefing, which happened on December 5 and 6, was with a group that was evenly mixed — with House and Senate lawmakers. And included at least one Republican senator.
Lee has been criticized that she has broken medical and professional protocols for “diagnosing” the President’s condition without a formal examination. Both the American Psychiatric Association and Yale have distanced themselves from Lee’s statements, saying that she is acting on her own volition.
Lee made it clear that she is not in a position to diagnose the President, or any public figure, from afar. But she said that it is incumbent on medical professionals to intervene in instances where there is a danger to an individual or the public. She argues that signs the President has exhibited have risen to that level of danger.
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment on Lee’s remarks on Trump’s mental health. During the White House briefing Thursday, press secretary Sarah Sanders called questions about the President’s state of mind “disgraceful.”
The meeting between Lee and members of Congress was set up through a former US Attorney with ties to Capitol Hill who approached Lee at the request of a “number of lawmakers,” she said. Lee provided them a briefing based on her book on the subject. Dr. James Gilligan — another psychiatrist — an expert on studying and predicting violence, also made a presentation.
”Mr. Trump is showing signs of impairment that the average person could not see,” Lee said. “He is becoming very unstable very quickly. There is a need for neuropsychiatric evaluation that would demonstrate his capacity to serve.”
Lee cited Trump’s repeated referencing of conspiracy theories in his public statements as a troubling sign.
”As he is unraveling he seems to be losing his grip on reality and reverting to conspiracy theories,” she said. “There are signs that he is going into attack mode when he is under stress. That means he has the potential to become impulsive and very volatile.”
Specifically, Lee pointed to Trump’s verbal aggressiveness and his boasting about sexual assault on the Access Hollywood tape that was revealed during the campaign. She accused the President of inciting violence at his rallies, and having an “attraction” to powerful weapons. Lee said his threats to ramp up military action and the taunting an unstable leader in North Korean Leader Kim Jung Un are all signs of the President being on the verge of a psychotic breakdown.
Dr. Lee spoke with Democracy Now! A few weeks ago, where she is interviewed about the closed session on Capitol Hill and why her diagnosis does not violate any professional standards. It’s quite revealing.