Trump's Latest Reason for Going to Walter Reed Medical Center Last Year Directly Contradicts His Reason at the Time
Last year, President Donald Trump was unexpectedly taken to Walter Reed Medical Center, prompting speculation about the President's health.
That speculation was revived again when New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt wrote in his forthcoming book that Vice President Mike Pence was told to be on standby to temporarily take over as President in case Trump needed to be anesthetized for a procedure. That step wasn't necessary.
Trump denied this in a tweet on Tuesday.
Mike Pence was never put on standby, & there were no mini-strokes. This is just more Fake News by @CNN, a phony story. The reason for the visit to Walter Reed, together with the full press pool, was to complete my yearly physical. Short visit, then returned (with press) to W.H... https://t.co/GUVdbJRvqD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 2, 2020
Trump insisted that he hadn't had any "mini-strokes," which was especially curious because no outlet had reported that the President had suffered mini-strokes.
Perhaps even more curiously, Trump claimed that his visit last year was to complete his yearly physical, but this contradicts what he said at the time of the visit to Walter Reed.
In the immediate aftermath, Trump said he'd gone to the medical center to do the first part of his yearly physical, with the second part to be completed at a later date.
Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center. Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2019
Then-White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham echoed claims that Trump was undergoing the first "portions" of his medical exam, then assured in an interview with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro that the President was in excellent health.
"He is healthy as can be. I put a statement out about that. He's got more energy than anybody in the White House. That man works from 6 a.m. until, you know, very, very late at night. He's doing just fine."
This latest contradiction has only exacerbated the mystery around the President's visit.
So at the time, the White House said it was “phase one" of his physical and the rest of it would be completed in 2020. Now Trump says it was to complete his physical. https://t.co/jAmZ3xRE7j
— Blake News (@blakehounshell) September 2, 2020
It was not even close to a year since the previous exam. And the White House previously said the trip was to get an early start on the coming year's annual physical, not to complete it. So It looks as if Trump can't even keep his cover story straight. #StableGenius https://t.co/5eo5zCiwob
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) September 2, 2020
1/ How could Trump "complete" his yearly physical during an emergency visit to Walter Reed if it was also "Phase One"? 🤔 https://t.co/6TYSIBpUFy pic.twitter.com/VHgtqBdgXD
— Bad Fox Graphics (@BadFoxGraphics) September 2, 2020
“Complete it?" Weird because last time you said it was to “Start it". Who are we to believe given how often and freely you lie, Donni Dollhands? https://t.co/5lfe8wdUz2
— Private Joker, USMC (@Infantry0300) September 2, 2020
Hey Mr. "Very Stable Genius": more than than ten months ago, you tweeted that your unscheduled, non-routine visit to Walter Reed was to _begin_ your yearly physical. Now you claim it was to _complete_ it.
Did you forget which lie you told to conceal why you were really there? https://t.co/zk6hqEUmwX pic.twitter.com/9rpa3o85uc
— Stephen Schwartz (@AtomicAnalyst) September 2, 2020
@realDonaldTrump said at the time he was getting a head start on physical. Now he's saying it was to complete his physical. More questions than answers https://t.co/Rcj1kN2Vzm
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) September 2, 2020
But this contradiction wasn't the only red flag.
All I will say, which feels well within professional ethical bounds, is that it is highly irregular to complete a routine well examination in installments. https://t.co/ulzQwec6rX
— Daniel Summers, MD (@WFKARS) September 2, 2020
I've never done my yearly physical in phases.
— Diane (@DianeKnudsen7) September 2, 2020
Why did the WH doctor need to ride with Trump if he was merely visiting Walter Reed to complete his physical? Normally, for a routine visit, the doctor is kept separate from the president so he can respond if the president's motorcade is involved in a catastrophic event in route. https://t.co/duWi0T0baL
— David Aames (@DavidAames23001) September 2, 2020
When asked about reports that he was on standby to take over as President during Trump's visit, Mike Pence stopped short of denying it.