By taking on the issue of his fitness for office so directly, the president ensures that the discussion of his capacity will only intensify.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump lashed out at critics Saturday in defense of his mental fitness for office, calling himself a “very stable genius” in a tweetstorm of boasts.
First on Twitter and then at a news conference with Republican leaders at Camp David, Trump defended himself against a new book that cites purported fears from former and current aides that he was unprepared for the presidency, incapable of processing information and uninterested in making difficult decisions.
Citing successes in business and on television, and his victory in presidential politics on “my first try,” Trump tweeted that his record “would qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!”
He insisted that his opponents and the news media were attacking his capacity because they had failed to prove his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
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“Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence,” he wrote on Twitter even as a special counsel continues to investigate the Russia matter.
Reagan, who some believed suffered from mental deterioration in the latter years of his two terms, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease after leaving office.
The news conference took place at the presidential retreat in Maryland, where Trump and GOP leaders were formulating their 2018 agenda. The president denounced the book’s author, New York media writer Michael Wolff, and a high-profile source of his, former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Trump, whose personal lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter in an effort to stop publication of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” also called for tougher libel…