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A colleague tried to (seriously) explain Donald Trump’s behavior as possibly reflecting the onset of a serious brain disease. My take is that, while it is difficult to find a rational explanation for his behavior, that let’s him off far too lightly. Trump is emotionally undeveloped, hugely egocentric/narcissistic and a very long way from being as bright as he thinks he is. If speech pattern is an indicator (and linguistics would suggest it is a strong indicator), then Trump has the mental acuity of a bullying eight year old. In this, the fault always lies elsewhere, even if the explanation is irrational, self-defeating and damaging to the interests one is supposed to represent. He has, of course, no right in being a ‘world leader’, a position it’s fair to say he has abdicated by the political and strategic carnage he is wreaking across the world stage, diminishing the world standing of the US in the process. Those world leaders who expect good from him are, inevitably, shocked and disappointed (Merkel, May) and those that see advantage in playing him (Kim, Putin) come away richly rewarded. The Helsinki meeting really was a coup de grace, topping off his extraordinarily damaging visit to Europe and the UK. Would it have been possible to do worse? In theory, Trump could have congratulated Putin for Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. In reality, though, blaming the US for what all US intelligence agencies now say was Russian intelligence hacking of the 2016 election campaign, including the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers, was to position himself with Putin against the US. It was a straight up betrayal. No wonder even his own supporters are furious, while the most sober and rectitudinous of judges excoriate him.