It is not easy to assess the mental state of Donald Trump. Dr. Zebra reminds
himself of the singular nature of Mr. Trump by keeping in mind some of the more
memorable characterizations of him he's encountered, e.g.:
[1950s] He "as a boy threw cake at kids at parties and erasers at his teachers at
his private elementary school, [so he was sent] first to Sunday morning Bible classes,
like his siblings -- and
then, unlike his siblings, to a stringent military academy an hour and a half
upstate shortly after he turned 13." 1
 "An existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul."
[2006+] "Being around Mr. Trump was intoxicating. When you were in his presence, you
felt like you were involved in something greater than yourself -- that you
were somehow changing the world." 3
 His "loud, over-the-top, ... Ronco Veg-o-Matic, everyone's-a-mark, carny-barker, hard-sell"
 "As President Donald Trump began his inaugural address, a cold rain began to fall.
A few hours later, Trump claimed the rain had not begun to fall."
 His "bellow and banter cycles" 6.
 He "could not handle watching the news without seeing himself on it"
 His repeated claims, for example, that he actually won the popular vote -- is immutable and has had a "numbing effect" on people who work with him, said Tony Schwartz, his ghostwriter on The Art of the Deal 7. "He wears you down," Mr. Schwartz said.
(The 2020 election provides an excellent example of this, in Trump's one-hour telephone
harangue of election officials in Georgia
8. In this call, Trump's playbook is clearly to
repeat repeat repeat to grind down the principled disagreement from the officials.)
It is, however, inaccurate to speak of him as completely soulless. He speaks of his dead
brother with emotion, and when meeting with families of American military casualties,
those with small children strike him particularly hard -- to the point that he
would make up things, soothing things, in talking to the families
Among the psychological and psychiatric labels applied by his allies
- Narcissism -- Staff Secretary Rob Porter 9b
- "... his erratic nature, relative ignorance, his inability to learn..." -- notes of a senior White House official, summarizing views of other senior officials, July 2017 9c
- "He's just a moron." -- Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, in July 2017 9d
- "Zero psychological ability to recognize empathy or pity in any way." -- Reince Priebus, the President's Chief of Staff, July 2017 9e
- "We have a leader who has a personality disorder." -- former Senator Tom Coburn, MD (Republican-Oklahoma), October 2017 10
- "Whatever bad happened, no matter what it was, it was always against him,
always directed at him. He would say, `Why does everything always happen to me?' ...
It was as if the world revolved around him.
Everything that happened had an effect on him, good or bad." -- Barbara Res (Trump Organization executive)
- Acted like, and had the geopolitical understanding of, "a fifth or sixth grader." -- James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, January 2018 9f
- "He's a professional liar." -- Gary Cohn, ex-President of Goldman Sachs and Chief Economic Advisor to the President, in March 2018 9g
- "A f*cking liar." -- John Dowd, personal attorney to Trump during Mueller investigation, March 2018 9h
- "A conman." -- Michael Cohen, longtime personal attorney, February 2019 3
- Although wonderful to play golf with, is a shameless cheater 12. (There is an entire book about this 13!)