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He had an abnormal business career. He didn't win the presidency on being normal, on acting normal, on saying normal things.

So why, defenders say, would people expect normal from Donald Trump now?

The most unorthodox U.S. President the world has ever seen is facing another round of questioning on the state of his mental health this week.

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He stirred the "yes he must be crazy pot" in retweeting repulsive anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right fringe party. At the same time, the New York Times reported that he's been telling confreres that the voice boasting of aggressive sexual attacks on the Access Hollywood tape might not be his. This after owning up to having said the words on the tape after it was released.

He's also reported to be expressing renewed doubts about Barack Obama being born in the U.S. This after having owned up to the fact that he was wrong on the so-called birther issue.

In addressing the revelations, Michael D'Antonio, a Trump biographer, said "We're being led by a person who denies reality." TV talking head Joe Scarborough, referencing the President's cranium, said "he is not well." Rhode Island senator Jack Reed, who has said of Mr. Trump that "he's crazy," now has more fodder for his belief.

In Washington, you can't find a much more grounded observer than David Gergen, who has worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents. In a tweet, he noted the new questions about Mr. Trump's temperament and mental health. Maybe, he suggested, it might be time for family or staff to have an evaluation done.

Defenders of Mr. Trump have a different take. Upending normalities should hardly be equated with being unstable. People should get it by now that with him, abnormal is the new normal. He hasn't changed much since his career in the private sector. Though he was called lots of things, he wasn't called crazy then. So why are they talking about him being unhinged now?

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As a developer, he was outlandish, he was narcissistic, he was an attack dog, he trafficked in snake oil and he showed signs of bigotry from the get-go. He and his father's company was called on the carpet for alleged discrimination against African-American tenants in the early 1970s.

In the presidency, many of the foregoing traits are magnified. In some cases, as in his bias against non-whites, they are purposely put on display because he is well aware that this is the source of much of his political support. As such, it can be described, loathsome as white nationalism is, as rational political behaviour.

If a politician can't unite, his best strategy is to divide. Mr. Trump works at division all day long. His lies, his insults, his shocking statements have division as a motivation. He has backers like Steve Bannon reminding him in so many words that he won in appearing unhinged to elites. Why change now, especially given that many of his core beliefs set him apart from that Eastern Seaboard crowd anyway?

"His instincts on the news cycle and how to tweak his enemies is extraordinary," says Roger Stone, his long time confidant, himself a weirdo. "He's a master marketer, and the only thing worse than being wrong is being boring."

He's got away with so much shock talk that he doesn't worry about having a filter. He thinks, having already turned the Republican party and the presidency on its head, he can continue to get away with anything.

"In an intensely polarized world, you can't burn down the same house twice," says Alex Castellanos, a GOP campaign consultant. "What has Donald Trump got to lose at this point?"

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Mr. Trump's ignorance on many of the issues has helped feed the mad-king characterizations. So has his egregious narcissism.

But it's a big jump to suggest he is mentally unstable or suffers from what some call narcissistic personality disorder. Dr. Allen Frances, a member of a task force that wrote the definition of that illness, says Mr. Trump, who he is no fan of, does not have the prerequisites. "When people are bad, they should be labelled appropriately and denounced for their behaviours. We should not use mental illness to slur someone."

"It's a very strange society," he continued, "that thinks that it's somehow worse to call Donald Trump mentally ill than to call him evil."

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