Trump's White House Chief Of Staff Was Secretly Reading Book About President's Mental Health

Zinger Key Points
  • John Kelly used the 2017 publication of essays by mental health experts for guidance during his dealings in the White House.
  • The book was written by 27 mental health professionals who described why Trump was unfit for office.

John Kelly, former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, consulted a book written about Trump’s mental health during his time in the White House, according to a best-selling book.

What You Need To Know: "The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021," written by the New York Times’ Pete Baker and Susan Glasser of the New Yorker, documents Kelly’s struggle to establish order amid the chaos in the White House.

"The Divider," published on Sept. 20, alleges Kelly secretly bought "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump," a 2017 bestseller, and turned to it for advice on how to manage Trump’s erratic behavior and for guidance in dealing with the president, according to the report.

The book was written by 27 mental health professionals who described why Trump was unfit for office and the danger they believed Trump imposed based primarily on TV appearances.

The essays in the book were controversial, as the American Psychiatric Association's Goldwater rule states that it’s unethical for psychiatrists to give their opinions about public figures without consent and without examining them in person.

Kelly’s Coping Mechanism: Kelly, who served as chief of staff between July 31, 2017, to Jan. 2, 2019, consulted the 2017 publication to help “understand the president’s particular psychoses and consulted (the book) while running the White House, which he was known to refer to as ‘Crazytown,’” according to the book.


The authors, who interviewed the former chief of staff, wrote that “Kelly told others that the book was a helpful guide to a president he came to consider a pathological liar whose inflated ego was in fact the sign of a deeply insecure person.”

Baker and Glasser report in the book that the 25th Amendment was discussed by officials at both the beginning and the end of Trump’s presidency, with the latter discussions taking place after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

See Also: 'You're Blowing This:' Donald Trump's Wife Melania Was Convinced He Was 'Screwing Up,' New Book Says

The Backdrop: Trump’s psychological state has not only been a hot topic in the media and among mental health experts since he first took office, but also the general public.

Gabriel Sherman’s Oct. 11, 2017 article in Vanity Fair titled “I Hate Everyone In The White House!”: Trump Seethes As Advisors Fear The President Is 'Unraveling,'" reported that people close to the 45th president had referred to Trump as “unstable,” “losing a step” and “unraveling,” causing #25thAmmendment to surge on social media

The hashtag trended dozens of times throughout Trump’s rocky tenure.

The trending hashtag was often fueled by reports that people within Trump’s administration questioned his mental and emotional capacity, and Trump’s own behavior of lashing out during speeches and on Twitter seemed to solidify those claims.

On Jan. 6, 2018, Trump attempted to squash the ongoing dialogue that he was unfit for office on Twitter by announcing that he was a “very stable genius.”

Despite Trump’s proclamation, questions of Trump’s stability were asked and discussed throughout his presidency.

See Also: Donald Trump Won't Be Welcome, Joe Biden Asked To Ride The Bus To Queen Elizabeth II's Funeral

Originally published Sept. 16, 2022.

Photo via Shutterstock. 

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