Narcissistic Personality

The Mysterious Case of the Narcissist and the Horde of Secret US Documents


This post is now paired with Was Trump’s Horde of Secret Documents a Product of Executive Dysfunction? which explores the possibility that Trump’s executive dysfunction caused him to horde the super secret government documents in the poolside closet at his shrine to tacky grasping in Florida.

There has been lots of pixels spilt on the FBI search of Merde-a-Lago (Thanks Tengrain!) for stolen secret documents. There’s been the informative based on the law and the process of obtaining and executing a warrant. Thanks, Sisters-In-Law podcast! There’s been the ubiquitous “guilty, guilty, guilty” chorus from leftist social media, and blatant attacks on the FBI including doxing the agents and judged involved from right-wing media and politicians. And, of course, an endless supply of hot takes about what it all means from the uninformed.

To my knowledge, though, no one has looked at what it means for an unproductive malignant narcissist to have stolen from the White House. However, there are several important implications for the case. First, we’ll review the elements of Trump’s diagnosis since we haven’t posted about it in a while. Then, we’ll discuss implications.

Trump’s Diagnosis

There are three parts, so we’ll take them one-by-one.

Unproductive

This part of the diagnosis refers to Trump’s executive dysfunction. He lacks the ability to have his rational thought process manage his emotions for very long. He cannot plan and execute plans. He cannot control his impulses. He cannot focus his attention for extended periods of time. And he cannot see things from the perspective of other people.

He simply lacks the cognitive skill set that allows us to regulate our behavior. For more, see the linked post.

Malignant

Malignance doesn’t have much bearing here. It is the enjoyment of other people’s pain and discomfort. He deliberately inflicts pain on those around him, groups of people, and entire classes of people. It is the primary driver of his #COVID19 policy and his response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico.

Narcissism

Since 2016, Ye Olde Blogge has posted frequently about Trump’s narcissism and its implications. So much so that we got sick of it and were secretly praying that we’d never have to post about it again, but… Oh well. If wishes were fishes, I’d be nauseated because I can’t stand the smell.

Anywho, what it does mean is that there is lots to pick and choose from when looking for information on narcissism. Here’s one of my favorite explanations and will serve here:

 (1) [A] narcissist, literally, believes his every thought to be the best most intelligent most penetrating most insightful mostest everything that there has ever been since his last thought. (2) A narcissist, literally, believes his every thought is true. There is no doubt in his mind that what he is saying is true no matter how outlandish the claim is. It’s as if the neurological hardware that underpins shame, embarrassment, and judgment are missing. It is as if he has no ability to distinguish fact from fiction unless forced to carefully use his cognitive rational thought processes to focus on it. (3) A narcissist, literally, believes that since he is the best exceptions will be made for him, his needs, and his desires. (4) A narcissist, literally, cannot learn from experience. No misjudgment, failure, or lapse is ever his fault, so he never needs to analyze the reasons for it occurring beyond having associated with who ever he blamed it on. A narcissist, literally, cannot reflect on his behavior and make adjustments. And (5) a narcissist, literally, cannot stand when his incompetence and misdeeds — of which there are always many — are exposed as his fault beyond any reasonable doubt. In other words, when he is held accountable. When this happens, it is described as a narcissistic wound — the hole in the dancing, giggling, bouncing grotesquery that threatens to cause it to deflate — not only does he lash out, he seeks to utterly destroy that which is causing the wound. Not only must it be destroyed but any and every thought or memory of it must be completely vanquished. And, if that doesn’t give you a chill, ain’t nothing will.

Implications in the Theft of Government Secrets

EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING: He doesn’t have the ability to pull off such a caper by himself. Secrets just don’t lay in your hotel room safe waiting for the manager to come unlock it for you because you forgot your super secret combination that no one could ever guess at the White House. It isn’t a common golf resort, you know.

To get secrets, especially SCI class secrets out, you have to go through lots of rigmarole. You just don’t walk up to a filing cabinet, thumb through it, and take out the folder you want.

Trump don’t do no work, either. So, we have the following questions to answer:

  • Who helped him get the documents out of their secure settings?
  • Who helped him select the documents?
  • Who helped him pack the documents and remove them from the WH?
  • Who helped him store them at Merde-a-Lago (Thanks, Tengrain!)?

MALIGNANCE

While malignance, cruelty, doesn’t play a big role in the espionage, it does have a small role. You may have heard that the names of the FBI agents were published by right wing media sources. This information could only have come from Trump releasing his copy of the warrant. The court would’ve redacted it.

He means for the flying monkey brigade to go all Alex Jones on their asses and make their lives a living hell until someone pulls a Ricky Shiffer and shoots them with a nail gun.

NARCISSISTIC THOUGHT PROCESS:

  • Since narcissists believe that their every thought is the best thought ever thunk in the history of humankind, whatever reason he has given himself for having to have these documents is legitimate.
  • Since narcissists think everything they think is true, Trump believes that he declassified the documents. He believes he had a standing order that any document he took to the residence was to be declassified, too.
  • Since narcissists believe that exceptions will be made for them, he assumes that we’ll all understand that he either needed or wanted these documents and we’ll approve of it. He’s special. We should let him have them.
  • Since narcissists cannot learn, it doesn’t matter how many times he’s been told about maintaining and protecting secrets. He knows he’s the best, he knows more than everyone else, so he knows what to do with secrets (Hint: sell them!) Remember, he’s the same guy who lost a carrier group because he didn’t bother to follow the chain of command and “appointed” Sydney Powell to be a super secret special prosecutor. He doesn’t follow procedure.
  • Since narcissists must destroy whatever points out their imperfections, is it any wonder that he has published the names of the FBI agents who were on the search? That his minions in Congress are threatening to investigate and impeach Merrick Garland? That the GQP is fomenting violence in general?

SELF-SOOTHING: Why would he take this material? As I understand it, he doesn’t read. He preferred charts and graphs and verbal presentations to reading his briefing material. His desk and workspaces were empty, devoid of paper or any semblance of modern work.

He obviously didn’t want this memorabilia so that he could read it when he got all nostalgic for the good old days.

He liked to show it off. Reporting suggests that he kept Obama’s letter in the Resolute Desk drawer, in a ziplock no doubt to protect from all the pee that paid the pee-hookers to pee on the Resolute Desk, the Constitution, and American values (allegedly), so he could show it to visitors. Why’d he do that?

When he’s making the rounds in the dining room at Mar-a-Lago, he’d send an aide to fetch an executive order to show people. Why’d he do that?

Having lost 2020 was a huge blow to his bloated ego. He took all of that crap in part to help sooth his narcissistic wound. It made him feel better. He could assure himself that he was still important. He might have even told himself that it was proof that he had actually won.

JARED: During the winter of 2020 as we anxiously awaited Inauguration Day, many people speculated about this very event: Trump would steal top secret documents from the White House and sell them.

As pointed out above, Trump just isn’t capable of doing it. He lacks sufficient executive functioning. But, you know who does have the executive functioning, the moral degeneracy, and the security clearance to do it? Jared.

Didn’t you wonder about the two billion dollars that MBS gave him for his start-up investment firm? Really. Invest in the guy who bought 666 Fifth Avenue for such an exorbitant price that it nearly bankrupted him? You want to invest in that guy’s business acumen?

What did MBS say about him? He had his balls in his pocket? Something like that.

You gotta at least consider the possibility that there is a conspiracy to sell these secrets to China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, right? But, just like the 6 January Insurrection, Trump didn’t organize it. He enabled it. He benefited from it. But, he didn’t organize it, and he hasn’t organized the theft of these documents either. He’s still responsible for all of it and should be prosecuted as such, though.

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Image Attribution

Top Secret” by Malakhi Helel is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

50 replies »

  1. At some point, probably very soon after the National Archive found that some secret documents were missing, word that there were some at Mar-a-Lago wold have gone out publicly, on the Dark Web, and/or the international intelligence gossip grapevine. Whether intended so by Trump and company, every national intelligence service and independent secrets broker on the planet had to ask what the specific documents/subjects were, whether they could find a way to get access to them, whether their adversaries could find a way to get access to them, and whether there might be anyone at the location from housekeeping staff to top aids to FPOTUS45 who might be exploitable. They had to. That’s their job. I am guessing that US intelligence assets picked up something which alarmed them enough to go to AG Garland and say something like, “Times up! Those things have to be gotten out of there ASAP, like, now.” And so, it was done.

    I think I may continue referring to that person as “FPOTUS45” from now on. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      I wouldn’t be surprised that every employee working at Mar-a-Lago wasn’t on the payroll of some country’s secret service or other. We’ve long known that Trump and his golf courses are security threats. There was probably even a small spike in real estate prices surrounding the place as intelligence agencies tried to outbid each other for the properties nearest to him.

      Since the FBI and Secret Service both knew he was an extreme risk, I would hope they had him under some kind of monitoring system that would help preclude the sale of secrets and pick up on potential raid on the resort.

      One of the reasons that they charged him with espionage, from what I understand, is because there was an indication that was going to destroy documents and records rather than be caught with them.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • Any half way competent profiler would have known, even before Trump ever got to the White House that he could never be trusted with classified documents or information. Clearly, Mr. Putin and his FSB were well aware of that and helped the bull get into the china shop.

        The Secret Service has been providing security for Trump as for all former Presidents, so they have had people in place to keep an eye on him and those around him.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Unfortunately, Trump seems to have corrupted several in his secret service detail. Hopefully, they will rotate people through his detail before they can be corrupted and identify those who have been corrupted to get them out.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              The corruption in the secret service isn’t exactly secret. Pence refused to get into the car on 6 January knowing that some of the agents were in league with Trump and it was likely they would refuse to return him to the Capitol. Biden requested that specific members of his protection detail be removed because of their suspected loyalties to Trump. Trump made one of them his assistant chief-of-staff and now he’s back working in the protection details.

              These things are known and troubling. Hopefully, they are trying to get it fixed somehow some way.

              It just shows the absolute corrupting powers of a narcissist on those around them. It is astounding that secret service agents would be taken in like that.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • For one like Trump, the corruption is not just a side effect of his manipulation and his own corrupt way of life. Much of the point is to have the people around him compromised. Just ask Michael Cohen and that CFO who just pleaded guilty to 15 felonies. Then there is the lawyer who wrote the letter to the FBI saying there were no sensitive or classified documents at Merde-o-Lago. Either he knew it wasn’t true or he was trusting Trump’s word. If he knew, then his Attorney-Client Privilege is blown (participating in the crime). If he trusted Trump, he’s a fool.

                One can wonder whether some of the Secret Service agents might have been secret members of the Oath Keepers, or sympathizers. Their primary membership is military and law enforcement.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  I just re-read one of my 2016 posts about Trump as mental contaminate. It really explains who succumbs to Trump’s “charms” and finds themselves doing things they wouldn’t normally have done.

                  Trump, at least, has provided enough fodder for a fall’s worth of posts and it isn’t even fall yet!

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Someone once told me that the way to identify a sociopath (applies as well to psychopath) in a social network (the people kind, not the media kind) is to look at the broken relationships all around them.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • That’s the funny thing about sociopath and psychopath, neither is well defined. They are terms from the vernacular used to describe people who are essentially antisocial. Although, the DSM5 used the term psychopath, so it may now get a clearer more systematic definition.

                      None of the personality disorders can sustain personal relationships.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • And, they have particular difficulty dealing with each other unless both parties to the relationship are strongly Machiavellian with good executive functioning, until one finally wins.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Some of the worst and most consequential problems that the world faces can be laid at the feet of people with personality disorders and strong executive functioning. In fact, there is little worse than a psychopath with strong executive functioning. Those are your CEOs of petroleum and pharmaceutical companies and what not.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • When you set up a system to reward climbing a corporate ladder with ruthless competition, crushing or absorbing competitors to create a monopoly, and never admitting mistakes or wrong doing, that is who you get in the corner office.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Capitalism fosters ruthlessness if left unfettered.

                      I think the chief problem is that the Republicans in the generation after Reagan and Poppy Bush actually BELIEVED their BS economics and political ideas. They actually believe that we should live without government oversight and regulation. Reagan and Poppy and Gingrich never actually believed that.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Which means, you aren’t really ever going to divorce them from the concepts. The only way out is for the Republican party to utterly destroyed. It’s like getting rid of black mold. You gotta burn it.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ends justify the means. Unfortunately, the ends are getting what certain actors crave — money, power, fame, money, and more money. And, destroying everything and everyone is okay.

                      How many times has this particular tragicomedy played out in human history? And, it has always ended in the same way. I guess it is part of our deep psyche because we never learn.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • But are there celebrities or Internet famous types that grift off of the left. I mean, besides Gwyneth Paltrow. She grifts the woo-woo gullible, which I imagine correlates pretty highly with lefty types… oh and Marianne Williamson. But, neither have the profile and notoriety of anyone on the right.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I can’t think of any who base the grift in the politics. The GOP grifters tend to come from the Ayn Randian libertarian wing and the religious “God wants you to make me rich.” wing. It really is the Dark Triad on parade.

                      On the Left, there are the Anarchists, but I’ve often noticed that the main difference between a Libertarian and an Anarchist is money. The Anarchists have to at least pretend to be poor. I suspect that one I knew way back who appeared to be operating with no visible means of support was actually a Trust Baby with really bad daddy issues.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      LOL, I’ve known too many trust fund babies slumming it with the hippie dippie arty farty types back in the day. And, those just grifting their parents. The few people that I knew back in my university days who are still doing the anarchist thing today are those with issues that keep them from developing and advancing usually of the executive functioning, attentional, and mood variety. At least, they have a somewhat supportive community.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • He could pack a lot of insight into a small package, a fine example of this truth:

                      “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
                      ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yes, and I think too of Monk, the show about a detective with OCD, beautifully played by Tony Shalhoub. While not fully a comedy, it portrayed a man with a serious mental illness never-the-less doing his job and being very smart and sympathetic.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • There is something about being able to laugh at the humor that isn’t degrading to the target that really helps that acceptance piece along. We can go further back and not the influence of Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Montgomery, and Mary Tyler Moore for women’s rights. The Big Bang Theory for autism. There’s a reason that conservatives hate Hollywood and it ain’t the morals.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’ve been thinking about the basis for projection lately. It seems to me that it lies in the widespread assumption that each of us has about ourselves. We assume that we are average. Most people are doing what we’re doing. So, if we’d lie, cheat, and steal in a situation, then we assume everyone will.

                      That seems like it rings true. I wonder if there have been any studies that have explored the tendency.

                      Jon

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • There probably have been studies. I suspect that projection is a fundamental function in Theory Of Mind processes, the assumption that others experience the same reality we do. The real test of the extension of empathy is in understanding that that is not always true and working to bridge the differences.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I guess projection would also have to preclude theory of mind and empathy. Autistic people are not necessarily projectors, though. I’ve known a couple who were bad about it, but those folks had a mild paranoid streak and a bit obsessive.

                      I think it must be a complicated reaction that might not have just one cause. I’ll continue thinking about it, even do a little research.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think that , like other cognitive processes, it ha both healthy functional forms, and dysfunctional ones. Probably, the most dangerous feature is not being aware that we are doing it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • At its healthiest, projection would be used to reassure the individual that others in the group are like them so they would feel the bond. At its worst, it is a dangerous deviation from reality that leaves the individual vulnerable and making very poor decisions.

                      Liked by 1 person

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