Any number of commentators have described Donald Trump as exhibiting narcissistic personality disorder. Nigel Barber at Psychology Today explained it this way. Does Trump Suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Professional psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, are loath to go on record saying that Trump has a psychiatric disorder on the premise that one cannot do a diagnosis without an office visit and most narcissists are quite unlikely to recognize that they have a problem and to schedule an appointment.
According to DSM-5, individuals with NPD have most (at least five) or all of the symptoms listed below (generally without commensurate qualities or accomplishments).
1 Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment by others.
2 Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
3 Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions.
4 Needing constant admiration from others.
5 Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others.
6 Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain.
7 Unwilling to empathize with others’ feelings, wishes, or needs.
8 Intensely jealous of others and the belief that others are equally jealous of them.
9 Pompous and arrogant demeanor.
Wow, nine for nine! “For those that are clearly relevant, he checks out on all symptoms, it seems. According to DSM criteria, Donald Trump suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.”
Now comes confirmation from this truly disturbing report by Alex Thompson at Vice News. Trump gets a folder full of positive news about himself twice a day:
Twice a day since the beginning of the Trump administration, a special folder is prepared for the president. The first document is prepared around 9:30 a.m. and the follow-up, around 4:30 p.m. Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer both wanted the privilege of delivering the 20-to-25-page packet to President Trump personally, White House sources say.
These sensitive papers, described to VICE News by three current and former White House officials, don’t contain top-secret intelligence or updates on legislative initiatives. Instead, the folders are filled with screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews, praise-filled news stories, and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.
Pause for a moment to try to absorb this bit of narcissistic disorder.
One White House official said the only feedback the White House communications shop, which prepares the folder, has ever gotten in all these months is: “It needs to be more fucking positive.” That’s why some in the White House ruefully refer to the packet as “the propaganda document.”
The process of assembling the folder begins at the Republican National Committee’s “war room”, tasked with monitoring local and national news, cable television, social media, digital media, and print media to see how the party, its candidates or their opponents are being perceived.
Beginning at 6 a.m. every weekday — the early start is a longtime war room tradition — three staffers arrive at the RNC to begin monitoring the morning shows on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News as they scour the internet and newspapers. Every 30 minutes or so, the staffers send the White House Communications Office an email with chyron screenshots, tweets, news stories, and interview transcripts.
White House staffers then cull the information, send out clips to other officials, and push favorable headlines to a list of journalists. But they also pick out the most positive bits to give to the president. On days when there aren’t enough positive chyrons, communications staffers will ask the RNC staffers for flattering photos of the president.
And people actually get paid to do this. Unbelievable!
Contacted by VICE News, Spicer disputed the nature of the folder. “While I won’t comment on materials we share with the president, this is not accurate on several levels,” he said in an email. Asked what about the story was inaccurate, Spicer did not respond.
* * *
[T]he production of a folder with just positive news — and the use of the RNC to help produce it — seemed abnormal to former White House officials. “If we had prepared such a digest for Obama, he would have roared with laughter,” said David Axelrod, the senior adviser to Barack Obama during his first two years in the White House. “His was a reality-based presidency.”
* * *
Another current White House official said that the idea for the twice-daily ego boost came from Priebus and Spicer, who competed to deliver the folder and be the bearer of the good news. “Priebus and Spicer weren’t in a good position, and they wanted to show they could provide positive coverage,” the official said. “It was self-preservation.”
All that shameless ass-kissing didn’t keep these two court jesters from getting fired. Loyalty is a one-way street with Donald Trump.
This Vice report is even creepier than that ass-kissing Cabinet meeting back in June:
Trump listened contentedly as the vice president, his chief of staff, and nearly all of the 15 Cabinet secretaries heaped praise on him. Priebus took that opportunity to tell Trump: “On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the American people.”
Sounds like a Kim Jong-un cabinent meeting, only those guys face actual torture and execution if they do not kiss the boss’s ass.