Trump praises author whose book falsely claims she has PhD in psychology

Trump praises author whose book falsely claims she has PhD in psychology
© Regnery Publishing

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE praised his adviser Gina Loudon and her new book despite the book falsely claiming that she has a Ph.D. in psychology. 

“Gina is Great!” the president tweeted early Friday.

Loudon, a Republican commentator and author, recently wrote a book titled “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy,” which claims to use science and psychological theory to explain why Trump is the “most sound-minded” president, the Daily Beast reported Thursday.

She has a Ph.D in “human and organization systems” from an online school called Fielding Graduate University.

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The course is not a psychology degree nor does it provide Loudon with a license to practice psychology, the outlet found. 

The jacket of her new book states that she has two masters’ degrees “as well as a Ph.D in psychology.” 

The publishing company, Regnery, told the outlet that they were responsible for the misleading statements on the book jacket, including referring to Loudon as “America’s favorite psychological expert.”

“The jacket copy was written by Regnery, not Gina,” Alyssa Cordova, senior director of publicity at Regnery Publishing, said in an email to the Daily Beast. “As Human and Organizational Systems is a field of psychology, we simplified that simply as ‘psychology.’ We will be updating with the specific degree description on future printings and online marketing copy to avoid further confusion.”

Kayleigh McEnany, national spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, shared the Amazon link to buy Loudon’s book on Thursday.

“Hope you’ll check out my friend ⁦@RealDrGina⁩’s new book,” McEnany wrote. “Keep up the great work you do for the ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩ movement, Gina!!!”

Trump shared McEnany’s tweet on Tuesday night and praised Loudon. 

“Gina is Great!” the president wrote.

Loudon is a member of Trump’s 2020 campaign media advisory board and a frequent Trump surrogate on national television. The Washington Post noted that it is not clear what Loudon does as a member of the board.

Loudon appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show last week to tout her new book, claiming that the recent New York Times op-ed written by an alleged senior official is an example of “Trump derangement syndrome.”

“But my book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president is the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House,” she said.

“Literally, liberals’ heads are going to explode at what you said,” Hannity responded.

Hannity wrote the foreword for Loudon’s book and is also a close friend of the president, reportedly talking to Trump frequently on the phone.

 

Psychologists have questioned Loudon’s book and whether her methods are scientific.

Jim Sliwa, spokesman for the American Psychological Association, told the Daily Beast that “psychological assessments should only be done by a psychologist who has a license to practice in the state in which they are doing the assessment.”

Loudon lives in Florida. Jacqueline Hobbs, president of the Florida Psychiatric Society, told the outlet that Loudon doesn’t have the academic degree to make mental health judgements on the president.

“The degree looks non-clinical which would preclude assessment of mental health,” Hobbs said, adding, “No mental health professional should discuss an individual’s mental health without their permission and a face to face evaluation.”

There has been extensive debate over the past year about whether psychiatrists should speak out about the mental health of the president, with one group of psychiatrists lobbying the American Psychiatric Association to change a rule that prohibits members from speculating about the mental state of public figures.

Loudon’s degree from Fielding does not provide enough psychological study to be granted a license in the field, Hobbs told the outlet.

“It also does not appear to offer any coursework in assessment or abnormal psychology which would be necessary to conduct a valid assessment.”

She admits that she does not have clinical training, the Daily Beast noted.

“My gut instincts, which have nothing to do with my professional training, are pretty solid,” she writes.

Loudon earned a bachelor’s degree at William Woods University before receiving a Master of Arts in education from Saint Louis University in January 1998, a spokeswoman for Saint Louis University told the Daily Beast.

She graduated from Fielding Graduate University in 1999 with a Ph.D. and another master’s degree, a spokesperson for the online school told the Daily Beast.