Does Donald Trump have ‘defiance disorder?’: New book claims president’s aides think so

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an interview at the White House in Washington, January 17, 2018. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Donald Trump’s close aides have described Trump’s seemingly off-the-cuff and spur-of-the-moment behaviour as “defiance disorder,” according to a new book detailing a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the inner White House.

A new tell-all book, titled Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War over the Truth, was written by long-time Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz, is expected to hit store shelves next week. The book depicts the president’s animosity with the press and how his close advisers are sent scrambling after Trump hammers out an unexpected tweet.

According to excerpts obtained by the Post, Trump’s aides have been “blindsided” at times when the president fires off an early morning tweet and that he seems to have a knack for doing what his advisers urge him not to do, the Post reported, leaving it to them to handle the aftermath. Those aides have dubbed this behaviour as a “defiance disorder.”

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According to excerpts as reported by the newspaper, Kurtz alleges in his book that Trump’s aides were confused when he took to Twitter on a Saturday to accuse former president Barack Obama of wiretapping him during the election campaign.

“Nobody in the White House quite knew what to do,” Kurtz writes, according to the Post.

Reince Priebus, who was Trump’s chief of staff at the time, had to handle the fallout.

“Priebus knew the staff would have to fall into line to prove the tweet correct, the opposite of the usual process of vetting proposed pronouncements,” Kurtz writes, as described by the Post. “Once the president had committed to 140 characters, he was not going to back off.”

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Another example of Trump’s so-called “defiance disorder,” as the Post reports, is when Trump announced on social media the barring of transgender military members.

“‘Oh my God, he just tweeted this,’” Kurtz claims Priebus said, according to the Post.

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The apparent “defiance disorder” may not be an actual medical term, but according to the Mayo Clinic, “oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)” is, and it affects some children.

Signs of ODD can begin before preschool years and include symptoms like actively defying or refusing to comply with adults’ requests or rules, deliberately annoying people, blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehaviour, often spiteful or vindictive and showing spiteful or vindictive behaviour at least twice in the previous six months.

Michael Wolff: People close to Donald Trump consider him a ‘moron’ who acts ‘like a child.’

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Michael Wolff: People close to Donald Trump consider him a ‘moron’ who acts ‘like a child’

According to Amazon, Kurtz’s book offers “exclusive, in-depth, behind-the-scenes interviews with reporters, anchors, and insiders within the Trump White House revealing the unprecedented hostility between the media and the president they cover.”

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The book comes on the heels of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, a highly critical, tell-all book about Trump’s first year in office.

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