It May Not Be Politically Correct to Talk About It, But Is Donald Trump Mentally Healthy?

by Bob Schwartz

Donald Trump says he saw something that nobody else did: people in Jersey City cheering as the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.

From the Washington Post:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he saw people cheering the Sept. 11 attacks across the river in New Jersey — a claim officials strongly deny.

Trump first told the story Saturday at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, as he pressed the need for greater surveillance, including monitoring certain mosques, in the wake of the Paris attacks.

“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering,” Trump said Saturday at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama.

Trump repeated the assertion Sunday in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week,” as Stephanopoulos explained to Trump that police had refuted any such rumors at the time.

“It did happen. I saw it,” said Trump. “It was on television. I saw it.”

“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down,” he said.

“I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it,” he added, “but there were people cheering as that building came down, as those buildings came down. And that tells you something.”

It comes down to two possibilities.

One is that Trump is just saying stuff and making up stuff for political benefit. Pretty outrageous stuff, but it’s been working for him so far. There have long been internet rumors to this effect, but every possible objective source—police, news media, even Republican politicians—deny it ever happened. But it is a rumor that is a definite winner among certain constituencies.

Or. There is something creepily genuine about Trump’s profession of belief in this. He saw it on television, he says, even though it was never on television. Which means that maybe, just maybe, Donald Trump has a problem. A psychological one. People do and say all kinds of things that cross all kinds of lines—ethical, moral, criminal—without having mental illness. On the other hand, it would not be that surprising for someone who has skated for so long on the edge of saying whatever is needed—very successfully and profitably—to cross a boundary to the place where things that never happened do appear to have happened. All evidence to the contrary.

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