“Hannibal Lecter, how great an actor was he?” Trump said. “You know why I like him? Because he said on television on one of the ... ‘I love Donald Trump.’ So I love him. I love him. I love him. He said that a long time ago and once he said that, he was in my camp, I was in his camp. I don’t care if he was the worst actor, I’d say he was great to me.”
HuffPost explained that Hopkins has never publicly supported Trump, nor have any other actors who have portrayed Lecter (on the off chance he was thinking of someone else), including the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in the TV series “Hannibal,” and Brian Cox, who was the first to play Dr. Lecter in the 1986 film “Manhunter.”
As for Hopkins, he told The Guardian in a 2018 interview that “he doesn’t care about Trump” and doesn’t like to talk about politics because focusing on the details makes him too unhappy.
“I don’t vote because I don’t trust anyone. We’ve never got it right, human beings. We are all a mess, and we’re very early in our evolution,” Hopkins said.
And Hopkins was even more explicit when he spoke with Brad Pitt in Interview in 2019. Hopkins said:
”People ask me questions about present situations in life, and I say, ‘I don’t know, I’m just an actor. I don’t have any opinions. Actors are pretty stupid. My opinion is not worth anything. There’s no controversy for me, so don’t engage me in it, because I’m not going to participate.’”
That’s not the case with Cox, a proud socialist, who played the Rupert Murdoch-like conservative media mogul on HBO’s “Succession.” The fictional Roy family also has certain similarities with the Trump family—the patriarch has had multiple marriages and his adult children hold top positions in his business empire, The Hill wrote. Cox told The Hill:
“Especially if you’ve lived through four years of Trump,” he continued. “You go, how the f— can this country vote for such a f—ing asshole? And yet, this part of this country will, you know, adore him. What is it they adore? What is it they want? And how disappointing that is. So, I feel that disappointment in the human experiment.”
Just consider how much Trump mixed things up in just a few sentences in referring to Hannibal Lecter. But that’s not the most egregious divergence from reality in a recent Trump speech. The 77-year-old Trump has constantly dismissed 80-year-old President Joe Biden, whom he refers to as “Sleepy Joe,” as being too old and cognitively impaired to be president.
During a speech last month at the Pray Vote Stand summit in Washington, D.C., Trump warned that if reelected Biden will drag us into a war … that ended 78 years ago. Trump said:
“We have a man who is totally corrupt and the worst president in the history of our country, who is cognitively impaired, in no condition to lead, and who is now in charge of dealing with Russia and possible nuclear war,” Trump said. “Just think of it. We would be in World War II very quickly if we’re going to be relying on this man.”
And later in the same speech he got confused and said he ran against Barack Obama in 2016: “With Obama we won an election that everyone said couldn’t be won.”
And that prompted “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough to say: “But yeah. You think they may want to take out the ‘cognitively impaired’ part of his speeches from now on.”
And co-host Jonathan Lemire added. “That’s an attack line the Republicans and Trump love to use [against Biden] but, man, that does seem like he was looking in the mirror just there.”
And then we have Trump’s social media posts and speeches in which he called federal prosecutor Jack Smith “deranged” and “a psycho,” suggested that former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley be executed for treason, and advocated shooting shoplifters as they left the store.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just consider this segment from an Oct. 1 speech at which Trump expressed his outrage over being indicted. He said:
"You know, I got elected. I say wow, somebody’s really doing well over there. Indict him! Indict him! Indict the senator right over there—that beautiful female. She says no, please. Indict her! '"
A gag order would only lead Trump to claim that his free speech rights were being denied, and putting him in pre-trial detention would only lead him to decry his victimization and incite the MAGA cult.
I doubt that Trump would mount an insanity defense because even he’d realize that would likely end his presidential hopes. But at the very least let’s shift the debate from Biden’s age to Trump’s mental fitness. But wait, I did find a clip in which Hannibal Lecter admits that he and Trump were once golfing buddies: “We ate our caddie. Turned him into a taco bowl with a nice Diet Coke.”