Former Duke Chair of Psychiatry Dr. Allen Frances admitted Sunday that President Donald Trump was not mentally ill, but suggested that if using that argument would get Trump removed from office, he would do it.
Frances appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter to discuss what he felt were the dangers of declaring Trump mentally unfit — namely, he said, calling Trump “crazy” was an insult to people who do have mental illnesses. (RELATED: Former Duke Psychiatrist Says Trump May Cause Millions More Deaths Than Hitler, Stalin, Mao)
“There is absolutely no doubt that Trump is dangerous,” Frances claimed, arguing that Trump was “dangerous because he’s a bad, evil con man” rather than because he was mentally ill. He then suggested that it would be acceptable to lie about Trump’s mental state if there was a way to use that false narrative to get him out of office.
“I think it’s very clear that he’s dangerous because he’s evil, he’s not dangerous because he’s mentally ill, and the mentally ill argument, if it would get him out of the office, I would say go with it even if it’s inaccurate,” Frances continued. “Anything to get this man out of office. But it won’t work, so piling on inaccuracy, stigma, the press will get people who know nothing about psychiatric diagnosis spouting off at the mouth, it won’t add to the discussion, it will distract from the political stuff and we have to focus on how evil —”
Stelter interrupted but did not push back on Frances’ willingness to lie to push Trump out of office. Instead, he said that he felt there was a need to “connect the dots,” adding, “There is something wrong here when he’s attacking his Federal Reserve chair, misspelling the guy’s name and doing 50 of those things a day. I’m kind of grasping for the language to use around this, but it’s —”
“I have — I think I have better language,” Frances cut in. “I think Trump is best characterized as a spoiled brat, as a baby having temper tantrums, as a completely unfit person unable to meet the challenges and the responsibilities of his office, as a con man, as a — the most narcissistic person maybe in our time and a narcissist for all times. All of these — as a thief. As a corrupter of others, as an obstructor of justice. These are terms that all make sense. Attributing every bad behavior that humanity is capable of to mental illness misses the point of evil and also stigmatizes the mentally ill.”