UPDATED | President Donald Trump certainly believes he is a "very stable genius," but Republican lawmakers appear hesitant to use the same label.
Related: If Donald Trump "doesn't call himself a genius, nobody else will," Lindsey Graham says
A dozen GOP leaders were asked Monday by CNN whether they agree that the leader of their party is a genius. The question comes amid media attention on a supposed tell-all book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, that raises questions about Trump's mental stability and fitness in office. A majority of Republicans queried either hedged their responses or avoided the question altogether.
"I don't really know what that means," said Texas Representative Roger Williams. "I mean, the fact of the matter is that he was very successful in business, been elected President of the United States, excuse me that's a lot of success, but the word genius?"
A dozen Congressional Republicans were hesitant to answer one question: is President Donald Trump a genius? Getty Images
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and South Dakota Senator John Thune all declined to weigh in on Trump's credentials for being declared a genius. Other GOP lawmakers, like Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, affirmed that Trump certainly showed himself to be "smart and capable" for getting himself elected to the White House, but paused at the "genius" label.
"Got nothing," Moran told CNN.
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson focused more on the stability judgment raised in the book, responding, "I don't have a question he's fit for office."
Taking a slightly different approach, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy responded to CNN: "Well, again how many of us are geniuses in everything? But he's got great kids. Everybody in this accepts that he's got great kids."
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was blunter in his assessment on The View Monday: "I think this: if he doesn't call himself a genius, nobody else will." Graham added later that, "In my view, he is my president and he's doing a really good job on multiple fronts."
Trump published a series of tweets Saturday defending his "mental stability and intelligence" in office. Trump posted that "throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart" adding that "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!"
Stephen Miller, an adviser to President Donald Trump, called him a "political genius" during an interview on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper.
"The reality is the president is a political genius who won against a field of 17 incredibly talented people," Miller said.
This article has been updated to include that Senator Lindsey Graham is from South Carolina.
Source : http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-stable-republicans-say-even-they-doubt-hes-genius-775212769