Trump on Mental Health: "In The Old Days, We Had Mental Institutions, A Lot Of Them"

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President Trump pined for "the old days" when the government operated mental institutions to house people for whom "something was off" but had not yet committed crimes, at a meeting with cabinet members and governors on gun safety and school safety at the White House on Monday.

He commented: "You know, in the old days we had mental institutions. We had a lot of them. And you could nab somebody like this, because they knew something was off."

"You can't arrest him, I guess, because he hasn't done anything, but you know he's like a boiler ready to explode, right? You have to do something," the president said.





"We're going to have to start talking about mental institutions," he repeated. "Because we have no halfway. We have nothing between a prison and leaving him at his house, which we can't do anymore."

DONALD TRUMP: There's nobody bigger for law enforcement than I am. But between the people that didn't go into that school and protect those lives and the fact that this should have been solved long before it happened, pretty sad. So we have to confront the issue and we have to discuss mental health and we have to do something about it.

You know, in the old days we had mental institutions. We had a lot of them. And you could nab somebody like this, because they knew something was off.

You had to know that. People were calling all over the place. But you used to be able to bring them into a mental institution and hopefully he gets help or whatever. But he's off the streets. You can't arrest him, I guess, because he hasn't done anything, but you know he's like a boiler ready to explode, right?

You have to do something, but you can't put him in jail, I guess, because he hasn't done anything, but in the old days, you would put him into a mental institution.

And we had them in New York, and our government started closing them because of cost.

We're going to have to start talking about mental institutions, because a lot of folks in this room closed their mental institutions also. We have no halfway. We have nothing between a prison and leaving him at his house, which we can't do anymore. So I think you folks have to start thinking about that.

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