As Hurricane Florence barreled closer toward the Carolinas Thursday, President Trump had time to endorse a book by a booster who called him the "most sound-minded" president ever.
Appearing on Sean Hannity's Fox News show Sept. 5 to promote her new book, "Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy," Gina Loudon, who describes herself as a member of the "Donald Trump for President Media Advisory Board," proceeded to call the anonymous New York Times op-ed from a senior official within the Trump administration part of the "Trump derangement syndrome." She then explained how she used her background in psychology to determine the commander in chief's mental fitness.
"My book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president in the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House," Loudon told Hannity on Sept. 5, reports The Washington Post.
The Fox News host had a response ready for the sound bite for Loudon, who was one of the president's most reliable on-air talking heads in the lead-up to the 2016 election.
"Literally, liberals' heads are going to explode at what you just said," Hannity said to a laughing Loudon.
"That's the fun part of the madness is just watching them go crazy over the fact that he's really pretty unfazed by them," said Loudon, referring to Trump, "and I believe that. And I know him."
"And that's what drives 'em nuts," said Hannity, referring to the president's detractors.
"And that's what drives them crazy," said Loudon, who refers to herself as "Dr. Gina."
A little more than a week later, the president co-signed an endorsement of Loudon's book given earlier by Kayleigh McEnany, the national spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. McEnany, the former on-air pundit, tweeted, "Keep up the great work you do for the @realDonaldTrump movement, Gina!"
It got the attention of the president, who has praised or congratulated other supportive Fox News personalities, such as Judge Jeanine Pirro and Gregg Jarrett, for recent books that went on to be bestsellers. "Gina is Great!" Trump tweeted Thursday.
Her book, ranked No. 436,949 in Amazon's bestsellers rank as of early Friday, refers to her as "America's favorite psychological expert." Her website says she has a PhD, but it doesn't say in what field.
The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that Loudon obtained her PhD in "human and organizations systems" from Fielding Graduate University, an online school headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif. On her LinkedIn profile, Loudon lists her PhD from Fielding Graduate being in "human development," adding that she has certification in "Body Language Interpretation, and Hypnotherapy."
Jason Browning, a personal assistant for Loudon, told The Washington Post: "She has many degrees, including a PhD, all in the field of psychology. I see it as a distinction without a difference. Similar to how someone with a PhD in Design Science might also say they have an Engineering PhD."
Regnery Publishing, which describes itself as "the leading publisher of conservative books," touted Loudon, its client, as a "PhD level psychological expert" in a Thursday tweet.
Loudon, who describes herself as one of the founding writers at Breitbart, a right-leaning news site once led by Stephen K. Bannon, said she has used her "psychological expertise" as part of the Trump administration's fight against the opioid epidemic, according to the biography listed on her website. In October 2017, she recorded a video from Trump Tower for the president's Facebook page in which she introduced herself as Dr. Gina before talking about the crisis.
"In my professional experience, I've seen this devastating plague hit unsuspecting victims who didn't know they were doing something dangerous," she said, "and once they've taken the drugs, the addictive mechanism can lead a victim to heroin use or even death."
In "Mad Politics," Loudon makes several claims supporting her stance that Trump is the "most sound-minded person" to be president. Browning told The Post that Loudon "gives credit to his [Trump's] upbringing, life experience, personality, birth order, and more." One is how she concluded that the president's Myers-Briggs type, the questionnaire that assigns letters to human traits, is ENTJ — Extroversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging. In that part of the book, Loudon points to a description on a website called 16Personalities.com that lists the ENTJ type as "the Commander," according to the Daily Beast.
"The ENTJ has mad presidential skills!" she wrote, the Beast reported.
Whether Trump's endorsement of Loudon signals a spike in her book sales remains unclear. However, the Amazon customer reviews for Loudon's book, which was published Sept. 4, offer a glimpse on the nation's current state of political discourse: deeply divided. In the 40 customer reviews, the partisanship shows: 60 percent of customers gave the book a five-star ranking, while 35 percent entered in a one-star rating. Those who gave it high marks tend to be more favorable to the president.
"If you are looking for a book making the case for Trump and tearing leftist arguments apart, this book gives you that in a very unique way," said one positive reviewer. "I have never owned a book with so many endorsements from people I trust."
Others who are skeptical of Loudon, her background or are against Trump are not as fond of the president's most recent author endorsement.
"The writing is turgid, which is amazing for a book written at the 6th grade level," wrote one reviewer, who claimed to be a psychologist. "It is a not a thought piece; it is a political screed. And the 'psychological analysis?' I could not stop laughing. It would earn an F in an Intro Psych course."