Former First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on MSNBC’s Inside with Jen Psaki on Sunday morning where her one-on-one interview produced some pointed jabs at former President Donald Trump.
When Psaki, former White House press secretary under President Biden (and deputy press secretary under President Obama), asked Clinton if she believed Trump when he said recently it would “very unlikely” that he would attempt to pardon himself if convicted (and elected), Clinton laughed and said: “I don’t believe him on anything. Why would I start believing him on that?”
"I don't believe him on anything. Why would I start believing him on that?"@HillaryClinton reacts to Trump saying he's 'unlikely' to attempt to pardon himself if convicted. Tune in on Sunday at 12pm ET for more of @jrpsaki's conversation with Secretary Clinton. pic.twitter.com/jAfaSmpW7A— Inside with Jen Psaki (@InsideWithPsaki) September 22, 2023
Clinton elaborated, saying of Trump: “He engages in what psychologists call projection. So whenever he accuses somebody else of doing something, it’s almost guaranteed that he’s doing it himself or he’s already done it.” She adds: “Or whenever he denies thinking about doing something or doing it, it’s almost guaranteed, he is thinking about it, or he’s already done it.”
[NOTE: In politics, this tendency — or strategy — is encapsulated in the Joseph Goebbels quote: ““Accuse the other of that you are guilty.”]
Psychology Today defines projection as: “the process of displacing one’s feelings onto a different person, animal, or object… attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another.” It provides this example: “if someone continuously bullies and ridicules a peer about his insecurities, the bully might be projecting his own struggle with self-esteem onto the other person.”
While psychological projection is often observed in those with mental health disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder — a personality disorder where the sufferer thinks of himself first in any given interaction — projection is not considered a mental illness; however, it may be a sign of a personality disorder.
Note: The concept of projection comes from psychologist Sigmund Freud‘s work on defense mechanisms.