The Strange Way Trump Denied Liz Cheney's Claim He Was Depressed After The 2020 Election

The modern-day phenomenon of watching a former president live-tweet (or, on Donald Trump's social media platform Truth Social, live-truth) arguments with other public figures is strange enough on its own. Yet, somehow, Trump makes these online exchanges even odder with his choice of comebacks and retorts — such as the bizarre way he responded to Liz Cheney's claim that he was depressed ... which seemed to reaffirm that he was.

Former Rep. Liz Cheney's book "Oath and Honor," released in December 2023, details a conversation Cheney had with former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy about their former president's mental state. Cheney wrote that McCarthy revealed Trump was so depressed after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, that he wasn't eating. The former speaker had visited Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate due to these concerns, per The New York Times.

Unsurprisingly, Trump responded to Cheney's claims on his social media platform, vehemently denying their accuracy. Trump said her statements were false and that he wasn't undereating like she said, but overeating. His response seemed to inadvertently admit that Cheney was right — just not in the way she reported.

Donald Trump's response wasn't the clapback he might've thought

Four minutes before midnight on December 3, 2023, former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social to respond to former Representative Liz Cheney's claims that he was depressed after leaving office in 2021. Before briefly paraphrasing the same conversation from Cheney's memoir "Oath and Honor," Trump started his post by calling the former Congresswoman "Crazy Liz Cheney, who suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome at a level rarely seen before."

Trump refuted Cheney's allegation that McCarthy visited him in Florida because he was suffering from poor mental health. He claimed that McCarthy's visit was an attempt by the speaker to unite the Republican Party with Trump's support. Trump wrote of his alleged depression, "That statement is not true. I was not depressed, I WAS ANGRY, and it was not that I was not eating, it was that I was eating too much."

The former president's apparent confession to overeating was the most confusing part of his response to Cheney, considering increased appetite and weight gain are both symptoms of major depressive disorder, per the Mayo Clinic. And indeed, Trump's awkward turn of phrase in an otherwise stereotypically fiery post wasn't the first time his response to comments made by Cheney came across as bizarre.

Liz Cheney claimed Donald Trump would be a dictator, he didn't disagree

Days before former President Donald Trump posted his confusing comeback about whether or not he was depressed, he made a similarly askew response to another comment made by former Representative Liz Cheney. In this instance, Cheney told CBS News' "Sunday Morning" that she believed re-electing Trump in 2024 would be akin to "sleepwalking into a dictatorship." Trump was later asked about her statement at a Fox News town hall event in Davenport, Iowa.

The December 2023 Fox News event featured several shocking Trumpisms, including a bold prediction about President Biden's life expectancy ahead of the 2024 election. The event's host, Sean Hannity, asked Trump to refute Cheney's comments that he would be a dictator if re-elected. Trump replied, "I'm going to be, you know [Hannity] keeps, we love this guy, he says, 'You're not going to be a dictator, are you?' I said, 'No, no other than day one.' We're closing the border, and we're drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I'm not a dictator," via CNN.

Again, it's unclear whether Trump realized he looked as if he were simultaneously condemning and confirming these comments by not denying them altogether. But, of course, if there's anything we know about Trump, it's that he has a predisposition to making catty comments about anything from celebrity romances to people's appearance to his own eating habits.