Morning Joe Questions Trump's Mental State, Scarborough Compares Him to His Mother With Dementia

May 2, 2017

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel unloaded on President Trump and questioned his mental state Tuesday over a series of odd statements he has made over the previous few days, with host Joe Scarborough drawing comparisons between his own mother who has dementia and Trump.

In a series of interviews, Trump has said he would be "honored" to meet personally with the dictator of North Korea and pondered aloud why the American Civil War could not have been avoided, among other unusual moments.

The panel also hit him over a moment in his CBS interview with John Dickerson when he grew impatient with questioning about his wiretapping claims made against Barack Obama and abruptly ended the exchange.

"It was really shocking," Scarborough said. "He was mumbling, rambling around, incoherent, and then just short of quit talking, walked off."

Scarborough read out the remark from historian Douglas Brinkley that it was "among the most bizarre recent 24 hours in American presidential history" and was "all just surreal disarray and a confused mental state."

Fellow historian Jon Meacham said Trump was more like a mental pinball machine.

"He's just this steel ball that hits something, the bells go off, and then he bounces off and hits something else, and that's not the most reassuring image you want in the nuclear age at the highest levels," Meacham said.

Discussing Trump's remarks about the Civil War and that no one had asked why the bloody conflict could have been avoided, Scarborough brought up his elderly mother's memory struggles.

"My mother's had dementia for 10 years," Scarborough said, as co-host Mika Brzezinski looked over at him in surprise. "That sounds like the sort of thing my mother would say today ... It's beyond the realm, and I'm not trying to be anything here but very direct. That's something that a five-year-old might ask, but that is not anything that any grown-up that I have ever been around in my entire life would ever let pass from their lips."

Columnist Mike Barnicle said the transcripts of Trump's various conversations the day before were "disturbing to read."

"It's very upsetting, kind of depressing, to read the transcripts of this particular president as he rambles on anecdotally, ad libs about things that are critical to the future of this country," he said.

Brzezinski said she felt concerned that no one in the White House could get "get him to stop talking."

"He's blithering right and left, and I can only imagine that his staff is sitting there with their head in their hands, because no one can stop him," she said.