In 2018, following the horrific school shooting massacre in Parkland, Texas, Donald Trump met with the survivors, and the family and friends of the 17 victims. Being such a macho man, he  boasted, “I would have run into the building, even if I didn’t have a gun.”  That was beyond Trump’s typically absurd, self-aggrandizing lies. In addition, our plump POTUS hasn’t “run” in decades, except perhaps to grab the last Happy Meal off the banquet table. 

At the understandably somber meeting, Trump held a note in his palm, “Tell them you’re listening.”  Given the circumstances, who would need a note reminding yourself to listen? But, as we’ve painfully witnessed  for three years, unless it’s about him, Trump’s incapable of listening.

Just last week in the Oval Office, Trump once again exhibited this disorder. He hosted survivors of religious persecution, including Nadia Murad, the 26-year-old Iraqi-born human rights activist and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

She pleaded for America’s help in saving her oppressed ethnic minority. She described  genocide, mass rape, the murder of her mother and brothers, and her being beaten and raped. It was a heartbreaking tale that would seemingly elicit emotion from any human. But, as she spoke, Trump, with the attention span of a humming bird on crack, might as well have been clipping his toenails.

Finally, Trump asked, “Where is your family now?” Nadia exclaimed,  “They’re dead!” seemingly resisting the urge to scream, “Haven’t you heard a word I’ve said?”

However, Trump was interested that Murad won a Nobel Prize. But, instead of questions reflecting empathy, it was obvious Trump was fishing for ways to improve his chances of getting a Nobel. (In late 2018, The New York Times reported that, according to the Nobel Committee, Trump’s nomination had been falsified.)

In the past three years I’ve written 63 columns about our Predator in Chief, and I confess my title, “searching for Trump’s soul,” is misleading. I don’t think he has one. I’m convinced he’s a sociopath without a conscience. In addition to being racist, greedy, cruel, vile and vengeful, he doesn’t have a drop of empathy for anyone but himself. (Unless it benefits him, which is the same thing.)

Ever see him putting a loving arm around Barron? Instead, there are reports he has almost nothing to do with his young son. Michel Cohen testified that Trump shamed Don Jr. by asserting he has “the worst judgment in the world.” Reportedly, finding Jared Kushner effeminate, Trump jokingly refers to him as his “daughter-in-law.”

His “compliments” about Ivanka have often included gross sexual references as when he volunteered on  “The View,” “If she weren’t my daughter I might have dated her.”  When the audience groaned in disgust, a bewildered Trump asked, “Did I say something wrong?”

On live radio, Trump probed Howard Stern to see if he found Ivanka “hot.”  What father does that? With Tiffany, however, when he greets her dispassionately, to me he looks like he’s silently saying, “And I would know you from?”

In his book, “Trump on the Couch,” psychiatrist, medical school professor and best-selling author Dr. Justin Frank, theorizes that when Trump was 2, he experienced a terrifying abandonment from his mother who had almost died giving birth to his younger brother. Returning from her month-long hospital stay, suddenly she was less interested in mothering than being the socialite wife of a  wealthy real estate developer.  Protecting himself from paralyzing fear, Trump became a bully to frighten others.

He still does. On Monday, Trump casually said, “I could wipe Afghanistan off the face of the earth. But I don’t really want to kill 10 million people.”  Notice with Trump it’s always “I” or “my” generals. Name another POTUS who commented so casually about nuclear war.

Teddy Roosevelt’s motto was, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”  Trump’s should be, “I speak so loudly because I have such a small stick.”

For over a week, “Small Stick” has viciously attacked four Congresswomen of color, three of whom were born in the U.S. He’s tweeted they should “go back to their crime infested countries.” And recently, when referring to Article 2 of the Constitution, Trump also said, “As president I can do anything I want.”

Finally, a quick word about Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony. The former Marine  Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient (as opposed to Donnie Bone Spur) seemed as exhausted as most of the country is.

As I write that, I’m sure I’ll get venomous emails from the gang who unquestioningly defend their cult leader. Last time I wrote back, “When Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any voters, did you ever consider he was talking about you?“

This “Trump column” is #64. With much needed breaks (for both of us) I’ll keep trying.

For more, go to Jack can be reached at

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  1. Thanks for bringing up little details about Trump that I never heard. Like the note in his palm

  2. No one in the journalism field seems to have the training to document the diagnosis. Here are the signs and symptoms listed as examples for “Antisocial Personality Disorder with Psychopathic Features”. It can be found on pg 761-5 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – 5 and is their official term for psychopath.

    Egocentrism [It’s all about me]
    Self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure
    Goal setting based on personal gratification
    Absence of prosocial internal standards
    Associated with failure to conform to culturally normative ethical behavior
    Lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others
    Lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another
    Incapacity for mutually intimate relationships
    Exploitation is a primary means of relating to others, including by deceit and coercion
    Use of dominance or intimidation to control others
    Frequent use of subterfuge to influence or control others
    Use of seduction, charm, glibness, or ingratiation to achieve one’s ends
    Lack of concern for feelings or problems of others
    Lack of guilt or remorse about the negative or harmful effects of one’s actions on others
    Aggression or sadism
    Dishonesty and fraudulence
    Misrepresentation of self
    Embellishment or fabrication when relating events
    Persistent or frequent angry feelings
    Anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults
    Mean, nasty, or vengeful behavior
    Engagement in dangerous, risky, and potentially self-damaging activities, unnecessarily and without regard for consequences
    Boredom proneness and thoughtless initiation of activities to counter boredom
    Lack of concern for one’s limitations and denial of the reality of personal danger
    Acting on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli
    Acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes
    Difficulty establishing and following plans
    Disregard for—and failure to honor­–financial and other obligations or commitments
    Lack of respect for—and lack of follow through on—agreements and promises
    Low levels of anxiousness and withdrawal
    A bold interpersonal style that may mask maladaptive behaviors (e.g., fraudulence)
    High levels of attention seeking

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