President Trump's current, somewhat disjointed speaking style may be the result of cognitive decline, according to the health-focused site STAT.
A new report states that "STAT reviewed decades of Trump's on-air interviews and compared them to Q&A sessions since his inauguration. The differences are striking and unmistakable."
It then argues that, in the 80s and 90s, Trump demonstrated a more polished style of speech and extensive vocabulary but his word choice has become simpler, and he is more apt to repeat himself. After asking various experts in cognition, neurolinguistics and psychology to assess his language from decades ago, the report states, "they all agreed there had been a deterioration, and some said it could reflect changes in the health of Trump's brain."
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This isn't the first time there has been speculation about deficiencies in Trump's language and cognition; his remarks in August—at a press conference and a Republican debate—reportedly only scored at 3rd and 4th grade levels on the Flesch-Kincaid grade-level test, based on his heavy use of words like "I" and "very" in addition to simple derogatory terms like "losers" and "idiots."
In terms of cognition, Suzanne Lachmann, a clinical psychologist, stated in a March Psychology Today piece that "there is a marked deterioration in Mr. Trump's cognitive functioning."
She goes on to say, "...even in his first 100 days, his insight and judgment have disintegrated to the point at which his public statements, accusations, and tweets seem delusional."
Despite these criticisms, Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at UC Berkeley, argued in a Los Angeles Times op-ed in early November that Trump's limited vocabulary and conversational speaking style are able to connect well with supporters by sounding "spontaneous and genuine."