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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

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

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