According to longtime journalist Ira Rosen, who worked for decades on the popular television program 60 Minutes, ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon thought that Donald Trump suffered from “early stage dementia” while the former president was still in the White House. This revelation appears in Rosen’s new memoir, Ticking Clock, and he discussed the detail during a recent appearance on a podcast called Skullduggery. As Mediaite summarizes, “Rosen and Bannon developed somewhat of a relationship after the producer invited the former White House official to sit down for a 60 Minutes interview,” and eventually, Bannon appeared on the show, but he did not discuss his perspective on Trump’s mental state at the time.
Questions about Trump’s mental state repeatedly swirled while he was in office to the point that he responded to the clamoring by repeatedly describing himself as a “stable genius.” In reality — whether or not he suffered from any particular diagnosable malady — Trump repeatedly proved that he was intent on sticking to his rhetoric no matter whether it was based in “stability” or “genius.” Although his willful disconnection from facts ran throughout his presidency, the months that he spent towards the very end of his time in office spreading the deranged lie that the 2020 presidential election was rigged for Joe Biden will likely go down as the most prominent example of his self-delusion.
On Skullduggery, Rosen commented as follows, in reference to his communications with Bannon:
‘Steve is a big talker — kind of a big gossiper. He became a big source for a lot of media people in Washington, and during that period of time that I was with him… I became kind of a therapist.’
According to Rosen, Bannon once thought that Trump would be removed from power under the provisions of the 25th Amendment, which would have required the agreement of Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of Trump’s Cabinet. Bannon “didn’t want to talk about it on 60 Minutes at the time,” Rosen says, adding that “this was a period of time when he had great frustrations with Trump.” Rosen noted that a “lot of it is to draw attention to himself,” but Bannon’s concerns did have some specifics, apparently — for instance, the ex-Trump adviser “realized that Trump was repeating the same stories over and over again.”
The willful foundation of Trump’s self-centered and destructive is unmistakable, but if he did also have a physical issue, it’s not like he or his team could be expected to be forthcoming about it. They lie — so often, about so much.