Trump a '10 out of 10 narcissist' with long-term decision-making ability of an ‘empty chair’, former Bush official says

Larry Lindsey attributes Trump's alleged personality disorder to his childhood and says his mother ignored him, according to sources at meeting

Emma Snaith
Thursday 16 May 2019 15:51 BST
Trump responds to China's retaliatory tariffs: 'This is a very positive step. I love the position we're in'

Donald Trump is a “10-out-of-10 narcissist" with the long-term decision-making ability of an "empty chair", a former economic adviser to President George W Bush reportedly told top Republican representatives.

Larry Lindsey, who chaired the National Economic Council under Mr Bush, told top Republican politicians that he had consulted two psychiatrists to evaluate the president, according to sources who attended his presentation.

He reportedly attributed Mr Trump’s “total narcissism” to his childhood, and said he had a mother who “didn’t pay him adequate attention”.

Mr Lindsey, who now runs a consulting business, made the comments during a presentation on US-China trade talks attended by senior Republicans on Tuesday, Politico reported.

His description of Mr Trump lasted for around two minutes of a 45-minute presentation "and certainly turned some heads", one source said.

It comes amid an escalating trade war between the US and China. On Monday, China announced tariffs on $60bn of US exports in retaliation for Trump's moves last week to hike existing tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

Despite his unfavourable description of the president, Mr Lindsey also told the Republicans politicians at his presentation that he agreed with Mr Trump’s China trade policy, the sources said.

Mr Lindsey predicted that Mr Trump would be able to strike a deal with Beijing because of “some of his traits”. He argued that the US was better positioned than China in the dispute, but that it is important Mr Trump does not back down, the sources said.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), a person with narcissistic personality disorder will exhibit traits such as “a grandiose sense of self-importance”, “a need for excessive admiration”, “interpersonally exploitative behaviour” and “arrogant and haughty behaviour or attitudes”.

But the APA’s Goldwater rule states that it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public officials if they have not examined them in person.

However, some have challenged that rule, with over 70,000 mental health professionals signing a petition declaring Mr Trump is mentally ill and must be removed from office.

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