Dr. Allen Frances, the former chairman of the Psychiatry Department at Duke University, told CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday that President Trump is as bad as the worst dictators in history and his presidency could end up causing more deaths than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Frances, the author of "Twilight of American Sanity," warned that calling Trump crazy "is a terrible insult to the mentally ill" and "hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist."
"I think 'medicalizing' politics has three very dire consequences," Dr. Frances said. "The first is that it stigmatizes the mentally ill. I’ve known thousands of patients, almost all of them have been well-behaved, well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these. Lumping that is a terrible insult to the mentally ill and they have enough problems and stigma as it is."
"Second, calling Trump 'crazy' hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist," Frances explained. "Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were."
He continued: "He needs to be contained but he needs to be contained by attacking his policies, not his person. It’s crazy for us to be destroying the climate our children will live in. It’s crazy to be giving tax cuts to the rich that will add trillions of dollars to the debt our children will have to pay. It’s crazy to be destroying our democracy by claiming that the press and the courts of the enemy of the people. We have to face these policies not Trump’s person. Now it’s absolutely impossible, you can bet the House, that the Congress, that Pence, that the cabinet will never ever remove Trump on grounds of mental unfitness. That will never happen. Discussing the issue in psychological name-calling terms distracts us from getting out to vote."
CNN host Brian Stelter tweeted after receiving criticism about the segment that he should have questioned Dr. Frances about the statement but he was distracted by technical difficulties.
I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that's why the show open didn't look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 25, 2019
Watch the full CNN segment: