Trump Unofficially Diagnosed With ‘Defiance Disorder’ By Aides In New Report Offering Bizarre Examples

It seems that Trump's aides have an coined a term "Defiance Disorder," which is used to describe some of Trump's behaviors, claims Fox News's host and author, Howard Kurtz.

Donald Trump Defiance Disorder
Chris Pizzello / AP Images

It seems that Trump's aides have an coined a term "Defiance Disorder," which is used to describe some of Trump's behaviors, claims Fox News's host and author, Howard Kurtz.

“Defiance Disorder” is an unofficial diagnosis that was given to Trump by his aides when he catches his staff off-guard with his “surprise actions,” according to what is emerging from the pages of a second new book about to be released. This new book: Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press, And The War Over The Truth, is due out on January 29, but excerpts are already surfacing among the media and raising some eyebrows.

While “Defiance Disorder” is not an official diagnosis found in the DSM, which is the primary diagnostic manual among the psychology community, “Oppositional Defiance Disorder” is in that book. The onset of this disorder occurs during childhood. So just why did Trump’s aides allegedly label him with “Defiance Disorder?” It is probably best described via the examples offered up by The Hill.

Why did Trump’s aides allegedly describe the President as having “Defiance Disorder?”

According to this new book, it boils down to a habit of Trump’s, which is doing whatever it is that his advisors are strongly urging him not to do at the time. Adding insult to injury, it is reported that the advisors in this new book complain how they are left to clean up the mess after Trump’s defiance kicks in. The author of the book is Howard Kurtz, who is a longtime Washington media reporter and host of the Fox News’ show Media Buzz.

Donald Trump with head down
  Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Images

This latest book, Media Madness, may offer some competition to the accusations made about Trump in the book that just hit the shelves, which was written by Michael Wolff and titled Fire & Fury. So what does this “Defiance Disorder” look like when it comes to Trump?

What did Trump do to allegedly earn “Defiance Disorder” as an unofficial diagnosis among his staff?

One of the examples given by The Hill is regarding Trump’s decision to announce on Twitter that he’s banned transgender people from the military. At the time Reince Priebus was chief of staff and he heard about Trump’s tweet just as he made his way into a meeting. That meeting was scheduled to discuss the four different options Trump would need to consider on this topic before making his decision.

Before the meeting even got underway Trump had made his decision and tweeted it out to the masses. He revealed he was going to ban transgendered people from serving in the military. It is reported in Kurtz’s book that at the time Priebus said, “Oh my God he just tweeted this.” The Hill also reports that the hallmark of this “Defiance Disorder,” which the aides have allegedly attached to Trump, came on the heels of one of Trump’s tweets. It was the tweet that claimed Obama and his administration had wiretapped Trump Tower. Kurtz writes the following in the book.

“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 also writes that once Trump commits to 140 characters, he won’t back off. So how close is this “Oppositional Defiance Disorder,” which is found in the DSM to the made-up disorder given to Trump by his aides, “Defiance Disorder?”

What are the symptoms of “Oppositional Defiance Disorder” (ODD)?

The symptoms of Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) usually surface in the preschool years and almost always by the time the person is in their early teens, according to the online Mayo Clinic website.

The symptoms of ODD are both emotional and behavioral and of course, this is usually children being diagnosed with ODD, not adults. But for the sake of comparison, here are the symptoms associated with ODD, as cited by the Mayo Clinic.

Angry and irritable mood:

  • Often loses temper
  • Is often angry and resentful
  • Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others

Argumentative and defiant behavior:

  • Often argues with adults or people in authority
  • Often deliberately annoys people
  • Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
  • Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules


  • Is often spiteful or vindictive
  • Has shown spiteful or vindictive behavior at least twice in the past six months