Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday that Congress has a “constitutional duty” to set up a body capable of declaring President Donald Trump unfit, due to his psychological state, to serve in the Oval Office.
“We would not be doing our constitutional duty if we don’t set the body up in the event that things continue to spiral downward,” Raskin said on CNN’s “OutFront.”
He was referring to the 25th Amendment’s provision allowing a congressional body, along with the vice president, to declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
In December, Raskin and other lawmakers met with Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee, who warned Trump exhibited signs he would “unravel,” according to Politico.
“I think she spoke for a lot of people in the mental health community in telling us that there are growing signs of paranoia, delusion and isolation in the president’s behavior,” Raskin said.
Lee, according to Raskin, speculated Trump had the type of mental state that wouldn’t get better:
“She and other mental health professionals we’ve spoken to have said that there are other people who they’ve treated with the same kinds of symptoms, and there’s basically no real medical cure for the condition that he’s demonstrating and that their object in treating people with these symptoms is to contain them and to keep them away from weaponry.”
According to Lee, lawmakers were very concerned about Trump’s mental state. “Their level of concern about the president’s dangerousness was surprisingly high,” she said.
When asked about the president’s mental fitness Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was “disgraceful and laughable” to question that.
“If he was unfit, he probably wouldn’t be sitting there,” she said.
Burnett asked Raskin for his response, noting Trump “went through a grueling campaign, and he won.”
Raskin responded by suggesting that when Trump said people like former White House adviser Steve Bannon were losing their minds, he exhibited signs of projection.
“To the psychiatrist, that looks like a massive projection on the part of the president,” Raskin said.
Burnett further pressed Raskin on whether he was blowing Trump’s behavior out of proportion and whether Trump was merely “unique,” not unstable.
In response, Raskin suggested that was the wrong question.
“Well, every person in the country is unique, undoubtedly,” he said. “The question is whether or not you are constitutionally capable of executing the powers and duties of the office of the presidency of the United States.”
Watch Raskin’s interview below, via CNN.