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President Trump behind a phone featuring the Twitter app. Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump, in an extraordinary public statement, pushed back against charges of mental instability and declared himself a genius. "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart," he wrote on Twitter.

Trump's mental fitness was called into question by Michael Wolff's new book "Fire and Fury" and instantly exploded into a topic of global interest and debate.

Be smart: Trump felt he had to publicly reiterate that he is mentally stable enough to be president. He even reminded his followers of his career trajectory as a way to try to prove that point: "Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star ... to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

Why now: "Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence," he tweeted.

But, but, but: There has been a growing number of people questioning Trump mental stability in no uncertain terms.

  • In the new book "Fire and Fury," author Michael Wolff wrote that "100 percent of the people around" Trump, "senior advisers, family members, every single one of them, questions his intelligence and fitness for office."
  • At least 25 House Democrats backed a bill to remove Trump from office if he is deemed mentally unfit by a commission of physicians and psychiatrists.
  • A dozen lawmakers in both the House and Senate recently received a briefing about Trump's mental fitness. The psychiatrist "made it clear that she is not in a position to diagnose the President, or any public figure, from afar," CNN writes, but "She argues that signs the President has exhibited have risen to that level of danger."
  • CNN's Brian Stelter argued that if Trump were president of any other country, people would say he's not well: "I think we can apply a test to his 16 tweets today. The test would be if this were the leader of ... Germany or China or Brazil — what would we say? How would we cover these tweets?" he asked. "We would say these are the messages from a person who is not well, from a leader who is not fit for office."

Go deeper

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, left, and Sen. Chuck Grassle (R-Iowa) look out into the crowd at a "Dole for President" rally at Hy-Vee Foods corporate office in Des Moines on April 13. Photo: J. DAVID AKE/AFP via Getty Images

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record,

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

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