Rex Tillerson comes forward to defend “mentally unfit” Trump


Washington, Jan. 6 (TNS): US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he has never doubted President Trump’s mental health after a new book claimed staff saw him as a child.

Author Michael Wolff said White House employees believed Mr Trump’s “mental powers were slipping”.

His book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, went on sale early despite the president’s attempts to block its publication.

Mr Trump says the book is “boring and untruthful” and Wolff a “total loser”.

He said it was being pushed by the media and others to hurt him. He added in a tweet: “They should try winning an election. Sad!”

Mr Tillerson – who is alleged to have called Mr Trump a moron last year – told CNN: “I have no reason to question his mental fitness.”

He said Trump was “not typical of presidents of the past”.

“I think that’s well recognised. That’s also though why the American people chose him,” he said.

On Saturday, Trump begins two days of talks with senior Republicans to discuss policy priorities for the coming year.

In a television interview, Wolff said “100% of the people” around Trump questioned his fitness for office.

His book alleges that Trump failed to recognise close friends, and was prone to repeating comments.

Wolff said that White House staff described the president as childlike because “he has the need for immediate gratification. It’s all about him… This man does not read, does not listen. He’s like a pinball just shooting off the sides.”

The president said he had not given Wolff access to the White House nor spoken to him for the book.

But Wolff responded: “What was I doing there if he didn’t want me to be there? I absolutely spoke to the president… It was not off the record.”

He said he had spent a total of three hours with Mr Trump, both during the election campaign and after the inauguration.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Wolff said staff had come to realise “the emperor has no clothes”.

The book cites former top aide Steve Bannon as describing a meeting between a Russian lawyer and Trump election campaign officials, including Trump’s son Donald Jr, as “treasonous”.