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As a science reporter, I never thought I’d be writing about President Trump’s mind. I’m used to describing rigorous published research and interviewing experts who know a subject backward and forward.

So when my editor proposed in January that I investigate the claim that Trump might have a mental illness, and then this month that I look into chatter that Trump’s speaking style is dramatically different today than it was decades ago, my first response in both cases was: Um, are you sure that’s a good idea?


Lots of readers, and some other reporters, think it’s a terrible idea. They argue, rightly, that no one who is not a physician and who has not examined Trump can say anything authoritative about his health, mental or otherwise.

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  • I see no evidence myself. I ignored all his verbal nonsense and watched what Donald Trump accomplished in the White House. Have you taken into consideration of how well he speaks one-on-one?

    Do you realize that when he suddenly became a neocon and attacked Assad, he was compromised?

  • The President’s style of speaking has always bothered me, especially the consistent pattern of repeating statements or clauses, the lack of colorful language, the repeated use of the same adjectives like great, the best, super, not completing some sentences or switching tenses. It is simply painful to listen to. Such a stark contrast to our former President Obama, an eloquent speaker. For awhile I was taking it as a testament to his lack of experience reading literature or his lack of intelligence, but after reading your article and watching older videos of his speaking, the eureka moment occurred. Now the question is what to do with this knowledge.

  • You journalists just keep piling on President Trump. It’s working!
    On Thursday, democrats spent $6 million in Montana to take Zenke’s open seat, but Greg Gianforte (R, a former software company executive and productive citizen of Montana) won handily over “folk singer” Rob Quist (D, a folk singer known best for his headlining at a “popular” nudist festival). This happened a day after reporter Ben Jacobs (aka pajama boy) interjected himself into the election process by successfully creating a hostile encounter with the Republican candidate.
    You journalists should continue with your schemes and keep piling on the nation’s President. It’s worked so well in Louisiana, Kansas and now in the Big Sky state. I suggest you hit hard on SC, CA and GA. Let those voters know how serious your hate is for the nation’s 45th President. Don’t hold back…be loud! Go crazy!

    • Republicans outspent Dems in MT by nearly a factor of 10 and the Dem got much closer than in previous elections. Watch that bias.

      LOL at the idea that calmly asking a question can cause a grown man to attack you. What happened to personal responsibility, Philip?

  • Th article was great, an erudite, well-reasoned, minutely-researched piece that asked a valid and important question and then supplied possible and professionally backed-up answers. I’m just shocked that @virginiahughes, a science editor at Buzzfeed would term it what it so clearly is NOT. This was not fake news, and anyone working at a publication who twists that phrase when they should be saying “I disagree” is committing sloppy journalism.

  • There are simply too many similarities between the way he speaks and behaves and the way my mother who lived with dementia spoke and behaved in the early days for me not to come to the conclusion that he is experiencing some kind of cognitive decline. The “experts” may be reluctant to “take a stand,” but I’m not. The evidence is irrefutable imho.

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