Democratic lawmaker wants White House to hire a psychiatrist, specifically for Trump

February 8, 2017
In The News

A Democratic congressman from California who has called President Trump a "danger to the republic" will introduce legislation next week that would require the White House provide top aides, including the commander-in-chief, with access to a psychiatrist.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., says putting a mental health professional in the White House would give the president additional support in light of the pressures of his high-pressure job. The move would be even more fitting following recent statements by Trump that Lieu says have caused the public to worry about the president's mental wellness.

"It is not normal for the president of the United States, within 24 hours, to write about death and destruction and fake news and evil," Lieu told Huffington Post. "The most troubling aspect of this is it is very clear he has a disconnection from the truth. … The very first press conference he had in this administration, they could have talked about jobs or health care. They talked about crowd size. And then lied about it. It's one of the most bizarre events I've witnessed in politics."

"His disconnection from the truth is incredibly disturbing," Lieu added. "When you add on top of that his stifling of dissent, his attacks on the free press and his attacks on the legitimacy of judiciary, that then takes us down the road toward authoritarianism. That's why I've concluded he is a danger to the republic."

Lieu is not a doctor, but believes making a psychiatrist available in the West Wing could have benefits to the staff and the country, whose people are affected by the president's decisions.

"I'm looking at it from the perspective of, if there are questions about the mental health of the president of the United States, what may be the best way to get the president treatment?" Lieu said. "We're now in the 21st century. Mental health is just as important as physical health."

Currently, a physician is required to be at the White House at all times, but not a psychiatrist of the title's association with mental illness.

Lieu is in the process of finding cosponsors for the bill, including a Republican.