All you have to do is observe Donald Trump these days to figure out that he’s suffering from a noticeable level of cognitive decline. The question is just how severe it’s become. But in the newly released Mueller report, Trump’s responses make him come off as completely senile – and that act isn’t going to save him.
In his written responses to Robert Mueller’s questions, Donald Trump said “I don’t recall” or some other similar variation of those words dozens of times. To be clear, this wasn’t in response to obscure questions like “What did you eat for lunch on March 16th of 2016?” Instead it was in response to crucial questions like whether or not he met with Paul Manafort about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians. These are the kinds of things that a cognitively competent person wouldn’t forget. So it’s clear that, in these responses, Trump is faking outright senility.
This strategy isn’t going to get Donald Trump anywhere. First, most people aren’t going to believe that he’s too far gone to recall these crucial details about his actions in the Trump-Russia election conspiracy. Second, what happens when he’s eventually forced to publicly testify before the House about these matters?
It’s one thing for Trump to restrain himself long enough to tell strategic lies like “I don’t recall” in written answers. But on the witness stand, in front of the cameras, Trump will either make up strange new lies, or accidentally blurt out the ugly truth, or some combination of both.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report