Donald Trump’s twice daily ‘propaganda document’

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.

Fortunately, the DSM is written so clearly, and so simply, that the diagnosis is transparent. Here are the symptoms.

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.


13 thoughts on “Donald Trump’s twice daily ‘propaganda document’”

  1. Not good policy. That’s why it is illegal to practice medicine without a license. It also easily amounts to slander, also not good.

  2. Using that generalized diagnostic criteria in the most non-professional distant manner that you do, Hillary Clinton is also suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, as are most politicians, celebrities and many other successful people. That is why true professionals do not diagnose patients by observing them on MSNBC. Of course, you are not even a mental health professional much less a true one.

    This post is really clutching at straws. Besides, the only reason these mental health “professionals” write negative articles about Trump is to get published, get on TV and be praised by their left-wing colleagues.

    Grow up (intellectually) AZBlueMeanie.

    Wait, I take that back. Keep engaging in this petty criticism of Trump so the people never elect a democrat again.

    • John, breaking news, Hillary is not the President.

      Pro Tip! Learn how to form a relevant argument before you insult others.

      • The argument is relevant. It seems to have gone above your head. Reread it and if you still can’t see it, get back to me.

        • The mental state of Hillary Clinton is not relevant. Hillary is not POTUS.

          The “if he’s crazy then everyone’s crazy” argument you pose is childish and has nothing to do with the mental state of Trump.

          Reread your own comment and consider learning some critical thinking skills.

          Maybe take a debate class.

          • “The mental state of Hillary Clinton is not relevant. Hillary is not POTUS.”

            But, Tom, you were willing to elect Hillary President. If you had your ‘druthers, she would be President today. Doesn’t that mean you were willing to elect a dangerous narcissist to the White House? It appears you don’t care if someone cazy is in the White House as long as they are crazy in your direction.

            “Maybe take a debate class.”

            To what end? You surely are not implying this forum is some sort of debate…this is a free-for-all that has no resemblance to a debate. I think too highly of you, Tom, to believe for an instant that you would think this is anything like a debate forum.

          • I was arguing about the medical malpractice of diagnosing someone via TV and the absurdly broad symptoms that the psychiatric diagnosis at issue uses, making the assertion about Trump is mentally ill ridiculous to all but anti-Trump fanatics.

          • You should look up legal terms before you use them.

            “Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that occurs when a medical or health care professional deviates from standards in his or her profession, thereby causing injury to a patient.”

            Trump has not been harmed, and in fact, there are numerous laws requiring medical personnel to notify law enforcement is someone is a danger to themselves or others. You should know this.

            That’s what these folks are doing:


            Now, if you were an actual lawyer, you’d be committing legal malpractice if that makes you feel better.

          • Ouch, I was just trying to teach you the meaning of the words you use.

            You didn’t need to go all mean girl’s on me.

      • The argument is relevant. It just flew over your head. Reread the post and focus. If you still don’t get it, let me know.

    • One need not be a doctor to know someone has a broken arm, or the flu.

      I have known people with mental illness, bi-polar disorder, depression. There are clear signs.

      I do not need a degree to know that the homeless person talking to themselves at the bus stop is not well.

      Knowing the causes of mental illness and the treatments may require a professional degree, knowing that there is something wrong with someone does not.

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