Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said Sunday that “a few” Republican colleagues have expressed concern to him about President Trump’s mental health.
On CNN’s State of the Union, Franken was asked about a quip he made about Trump on Bill Maher’s HBO show: “Some will say that he’s not right mentally. And then some are harsher.”
Franken clarified on CNN that it’s “not the majority” of GOP lawmakers sharing concerns about the president’s mental state, but “it’s a few.”
“In the way that we all have this suspicion that — you know, that he’s not — he lies a lot. He says thing that aren’t true. That’s the same as lying, I guess,” the senator and former SNL writer and cast member said. “He — you know, three million to five million people voted illegally. There was a new one about people going in from Massachusetts to New Hampshire… And, you know, that is not the norm for a president of the United States, or, actually, for a human being.”
Franken also called Trump “racist” for again calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) “Pocahontas.”
During a meeting with a handful of Democratic senators last week, Trump reportedly told them “Pocahontas is now the face of your party,” and used the name several more times. He called Warren that on the campaign trail, as well.
Franken said he heard the story from a couple of his colleagues in the meeting, and said if he had been invited to the sit-down he would have said, “Mr. President, with all due respect, that’s racist. Don’t — please stop doing that. I — I’m on Indian Affairs. This is completely unacceptable. You really should stop doing this. It doesn’t serve anybody.”
Democrats have taken the ball and run with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s (R-Utah) suggestion to the Washington Post editorial board that commanders in chief should receive mental health exams.
Chaffetz said he was not “talking about some of the rhetoric that’s flying around” about Trump, but added that “if you’re going to have your hands on the nuclear codes, you should probably know what kind of mental state you’re in.”
“I can’t wait until he introduces that legislation, to be able to join him as co-sponsor of that,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at her Thursday briefing. “I think it’s a very good idea.”
Asked on CNN Friday if the mental health comments about Trump were “disrespectful,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said it was “a fair question.”
“I have used the word ‘pathological liar’ to describe Donald Trump. Those are very harsh terms, I don’t feel good about it. I disagreed with George Bush all the time, I never called him a pathological liar, because he was not, just a conservative president,” Sanders said.
“But this guy lies all of the time. So, we are in kind of a new era, and I know the media is figuring out it can deal with it. Democrats are figuring out how they will deal with it. And, by the way, you’ve got some Republicans who are not all that enthusiastic about the way that this president is behaving.”