(The full Thursday, Aug. 10 New Hampshire Primary Source column can be seen here.)
HUMPHREY: TRUMP IS ‘SERIOUSLY SICK.’ It’s not the first time former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey has accused Donald Trump of being unfit for the office of president. Last year, the conservative Republican and Chichester resident called candidate Trump a “sociopath” with a “severe personality disorder.”
Humphrey, a staunch “Never Trumper” who supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 GOP presidential nomination contest, unsuccessfully fought at the Republican National Convention as part of a “delegates unbound” movement to allow delegates to vote their consciences in an attempt to block the Trump nomination.
And when he tried unsuccessfully to raise a parliamentary point at the convention, he charged that he was “immediately drowned out by people I would refer to as brownshirts” – that is, Trump supporters.
Now, Humphrey is citing the president’s Tuesday promise to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if that nation continues its nuclear aggression. Humphrey says Trump is “sick of mind” and “dangerous” –- and should be removed from office.
“President Trump’s threat to rain down ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea is like pouring gasoline on a fire,” Humphrey wrote Wednesday in a letter to U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, which he shared first with WMUR.
Humphrey said he sent similar letters to U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and to U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.
Humphrey urged the members of the congressional delegation, all Democrats, to support H.R. 1987, which would establish an Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity to determine whether the president is “mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office” of president and should be removed under 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment states: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”
H.R. 1987 is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Missouri, and has 27 House cosponsors. All cosponsors are Democrats — Kuster and Shea-Porter are not among them.
Shea-Porter spokeswoman Marjorie Connolly said the congresswoman’s office received the letter.
“The congresswoman agrees with Senator Humphrey that the Trump presidency has veered far off the rails,” Connolly said. “However, she believes creating a commission to pass judgment on the president’s mental health sets a potentially anti-democratic precedent. Having said that, she thinks Congress needs to put patriotism over politics as the investigations continue.”
Kuster spokesman Nick Brown said, ““Congresswoman Kuster has concerns about the potential precedent set by H.R. 1987. She is alarmed by the policies and actions of Mr. Trump, and her top priority remains the safety of the American people.”
Shaheen and Hassan had no comment on the letter.
The four members of the congressional delegation on Tuesday were critical of Trump’s “fire and fury” comments calling them “dangerous,” “bellicose” and “chilling.”
A top Trump supporter, state Rep. Al Baldasaro, defended the president and questioned Humphrey’s mental stability.
“Gordon Humphrey should be in a nursing home,” Baldasaro told WMUR. “I think he has dementia. He’s losing it. He hates Trump, so this is nothing new.”
Humphrey, since his days as a senator from 1979-1990, has been known as blunt and outspoken, and he has not changed.
“Donald Trump is impaired by a seriously sick psyche,” Humphrey wrote to Kuster. “His sick mind and reckless conduct could consume the lives of millions. The threat of nuclear war is steeply on the rise.”
“You must not take comfort in the system of checks and balances,” he continued. “The president alone has the authority to launch nuclear weapons, the only restraint being the advice of senior advisers who might be present at the time of crisis, and Donald Trump has shown repeated contempt for informed and wise counsel. He is sick of mind, impetuous, arrogant, belligerent and dangerous.
“Donald Trump should be relieved of the powers of the presidency at the earliest date.”
“Serious crises are bearing down on us,” Humphrey wrote. “We cannot leave our national security and our families’ safety in the hands of a president whose poor judgment, belligerence, vindictiveness and reckless impetuosity constitute an indictment of his mental health.
“Donald Trump is seriously sick. He is dangerous. As a citizen, a former U.S. Senator and 12-year member of the (Senate) Armed Services Committee, I urge you to act once. This is an emergency.”
In an interview, Humphrey told WMUR, “The greatest concern I have always had about his instability was in connection with his role as commander-in-chief. There are constitutional checks and balances, but the president alone has the power to launch nuclear weapons. The only control is the advice of senior counsel and advisers and Trump is not someone who listens to advice.”
“The United States in this situation should act with strength but it should be done in such a way as not to evoke irrationality,” Humphrey said.
Baldasaro, a Marine veteran who co-chaired Trump’s national campaign veterans coalition, countered, “The president put the fear of God into North Korea and tells it like it is. Gordon Humphrey needs to crawl back into his hole.”
Baldasaro said Humphrey “got his feelings hurt because his candidate didn’t win. He needs to get his head out of his butt and focus on the fact that this guy (North Korean leader Kim Jong-un) wants to kill Americans.”
“I’m glad we have a president to put them in their place, and I bet North Korea will back down because this is a sign of strength,” Baldasaro said.