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Good job, America — you turned the president's brain into another partisan fight. A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll shows that a little more than half of Americans think President Trump's mental fitness is a legitimate issue — but Democrats overwhelmingly say it's an important issue while most Republicans say the questions are "unfair and politically motivated."

Expand chart
Data: SurveyMonkey online poll conducted January 10-11 among a national sample of 1,412 adults. Margin of error +/- 3.5%. Poll Methodology; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: Questions about Trump's mental state have been raised by some psychiatrists and returned to prominence after the publication of the new book "Fire and Fury." Trump is scheduled to get a physical examination by the White House physician today, but that's not going to tell us anything about his brain. The White House says it's not going to include a psychiatric exam, and it's not expected to have other cognitive tests.

A group of psychiatrists has been warning that Trump's mental state poses a "serious danger," based on behavior ranging from aggressive tweets to what Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee called "belligerent nuclear threats" against North Korea. Author Michael Wolff ramped up the issue in his book, "Fire and Fury," with his claims that White House officials are concerned about Trump's mental sharpness.

  • The catch: The psychiatrists' warnings have resonated mainly with Democrats — Republicans haven't engaged, and the White House has pushed back aggressively. The psychiatrists acknowledge they can't actually diagnose him from a distance, and the American Psychiatric Association's "Goldwater rule" discourages such talk anyway.

What's next: Whatever we learn about Trump's physical health — not his mental health — will come soon. The White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, will give a "detailed readout" in the White House briefing room on Tuesday, per White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. (Trump said yesterday he'll be "very surprised" if his physical doesn't go well.)

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.