CNN’s Stelter: It’s ‘fair’ to ask about Trump’s fitness for office

CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday called for journalists to pursue more reporting on the issue of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE's mental fitness, as speculation on the subject has ramped up in recent days.

“This past year has been full of reasons to question his fitness. President Trump promotes conspiracy theories. He shares racist videos on social media. He live-tweets Fox News shows that mislead him, while he derides real reporting as ‘fake news,’ ” Stelter said on his show “Reliable Sources.”

“But, journalists are not judges or doctors,” he continued. “This is not a court or a hospital. What this moment needs from reporters is more reporting. Not more speculating or guessing or rumor-mongering, but more real reporting of what’s going on.”

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Stelter and others have in recent days brought up Trump’s mental fitness following the president’s tweet about the size of his nuclear button and details in author Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” 

"When a president of the United States threatens North Korea by invoking the size of his nuclear button, it is fair to ask about his fitness,” Stelter said. “If a leader of another country were to do the same thing, I think many commentators, many reporters will conclude that he is not well.”

CNN analyst Van Jones on Sunday argued that those in charge of deploying the U.S. nuclear arsenal must be deemed mentally fit, so it's reasonable to apply the same standard to the president.

Trump responded Saturday to the discussion of his mental stability by tweeting that his “two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.” Other White House officials have downplayed questions about Trump's mental fitness.

Stelter’s comments come one day after fellow CNN host Michael Smerconish called debate over Trump’s mental fitness “unfair and unseemly.”

“I don’t think we should encourage this sort of speculation,” Smerconish said, calling it “inexact and subjective.”