Donald Trump is a “quintessential narcissist” with a “paranoid orientation,” whose obsession with Barack Obama and need to repeatedly belittle the former president, reveals that he is “very insecure and hides it with a grandiose facade,” according to former CIA psychological profiler Jerrold Post. In a new interview with the online magazine Salon, Post also warns that if Trump loses the 2020 presidential election, he is not likely to leave office quietly.
“I do not believe that Donald Trump will go gentle into that good night,” Post told Salon interviewer Chauncey DeVega. Post added that Trump presents a “very real hazard” if the election is close, regardless of whether he emerges the winner or the loser.
If Trump wins, Post says, he will overstate the magnitude of his victory — as he has reportedly done with his claim that in 2016 he won in a “massive landslide,” despite losing the popular vote. PolitiFact has rated that claim by Trump “false.”
If Trump loses a close vote, “he will not concede early,” Post said. In fact Trump, “may not even recognize the legitimacy of the election,” the former CIA psychologist told Salon.
Post becomes just the latest expert to warn that Trump may resist leaving office if he loses the 2020 election. Trump’s own former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified to Congress that, in his view, Trump will not allow “a peaceful transition of power” should he come up short in the 2020 vote.
Last week, award-winning legal journalist Dahlia Lithwick made a similar prediction, writing that Trump plans “to be president forever.” Lithwick also said that should he refuse to leave office after an electoral defeat, there is no workable plan in place to force him out.
Earlier, Georgetown University law professor Josh Geltzer penned an op-ed in which he reviewed various steps Trump has taken while in office to broaden the powers of the chief executive. Geltzer raised the scenario that Trump will “cling to power in ways previously unimaginable” in the event that he loses the election — or is removed by impeachment.
In the Salon interview, Post also offers his views on why Trump often appears fixated on Obama and frequently derides the 44th president in public. In addition to Trump’s earlier campaign to prove that Obama was not born in the United States, Trump has frequently attempted to degrade Obama’s actions while in office, as The Washington Post reported.
Trump recognizes people who possess qualities that he “envies,” Post told DeVega, “then feels a need to destroy those people.”
The “charismatic attractiveness” of Obama which Trump recognizes leads him to “downgrade” his predecessor, proving his own insecurities, Post told Salon.