Reporters were given the opportunity to ask White House physician Ronny Jackson questions about President Trump’s health Tuesday, and they took news of Trump’s good health about as well as they handled the 2016 election results.
Indeed, the White House press corps gave Jackson a cross examination fit for the Watergate investigation over the results of Trump’s cognitive test.
Jackson administered a cognitive exam to President Trump last Friday, and said Tuesday that the president did “exceedingly well on it.” A previous statement from Jackson also indicated that Trump is in “excellent health.”
Many in the White House press corp, on the other hand, seemed to question if Trump really was in good health.
CNN’s Jim Acosta used the press briefing to ask whether Dr. Jackson may be withholding information about Trump’s health from the public.
Acosta asked, “There isn’t anything that’s part of the president’s health records or his overall physical fitness or any medications that he’s taking that you’re not permitted to tell us? Is there anything you’re keeping from us for privacy reasons?”
Jackson answered, “I can promise there is nothing that I am withholding from you. I can tell you, I’ve done the last four or five of these. I’ve been involved in probably the last six or seven of these and this is hands down more information that has been put forth by any other assessment to date.” (RELATED: Acosta Suggests WH Doctor Could Be Withholding Information About Trump’s Health [VIDEO])
Another reporter asked a question poking at Trump’s affinity for fast food and Diet Coke.
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl asked Jackson, “Can you explain to me how a guy who eats McDonald’s and fried chicken and all the Diet Cokes and who never exercises is in as good of shape as you say he’s in?”
Jackson replied, “It’s called genetics, I don’t know. It’s some people have just great genes. I told the president if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old. I don’t know. I mean, he has incredible–he has incredible genes, I just assume.”
He continued, “If I didn’t watch what I ate, I wouldn’t have the cardiac and overall health that he has. So he’s very healthy despite those things, and I don’t think that he does that any more. I mean, you know, he’s in the White House now. He’s eating what they’re — what the chefs are cooking for him now, and they’re cooking a much healthier diet for him now. We’re going to continue to work on that, make that even healthier. I would say the answer to your question is he has incredibly good genes, and it’s the way God made him.” (RELATED: White House Doctor: Trump In Good Health Thanks To ‘Incredibly Good Genes’)
Another reporter, off camera, puzzlingly asked whether or not Trump has a drug addiction.
The reporter said, “You said he doesn’t drink and he doesn’t smoke and other than the diet issue—did you address drug addiction?”
Jackson said, “Drug addiction?” adding, “Yeah, no, no, he has no drug addiction.” Jackson began to laugh when another reporter said, “How about sexual?”
Laughter then erupted in the room.
Another reporter took the opportunity to ask about one time that President Trump “slurred his words,” tripping over her own words as she asked the question.
Bloomberg’s Shannon Pettypiece said, “There was an incident recently where the president appeared to slur his words while giving an address. Did you look into what the cause of that might have been at all?”
Jackson replied that Trump was examined after that incident, and that there was no problem. He also suggested that the president may have simply had a dry mouth when the incident occurred. (RELATED: Reporter Slurs Words While Asking About Trump’s Health [VIDEO])
After the press conference, many establishment journalists used Twitter to cast doubt on Trump’s good health and continue to trash him. (RELATED: Journos Unable To Accept Results Of Trump’s Physical Exam)
And in one of the best moments from the briefing, Jackson addressed those who have been labeling the president unfit despite never examining him.
He said, “People shouldn’t be making those kinds of assessments about the president unless they’ve had the opportunity to get to know him and examine him. And, you know, in my opinion, that’s just tabloid psychiatry, and I’m not going to address it or fall into responding to those kinds of questions or accusations.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter said:
Here’s how the next few hours will go. Trump supporters will say “Concerns about Trump’s mental health were always absurd. Case closed now.” The obvious response: “The Q’s about fitness for office are serious. Someone could be sharp as a tack, but still unfit”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 16, 2018
MSNBC’s Joy Reid tweeted:
Dr. Jackson is by all accounts a credible, able clinician. He is also not a psychiatrist or sociologist. He can only assess Trump’s physical health, which he says is surprisingly good for someone of Trump’s age, weight and diet. Again, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 16, 2018
Trump’s health has long been a subject of speculation and concern among many in the media and the Democratic Party.
Multiple Democratic lawmakers met with Yale psychiatry professor Bandy Lee, who has raised concerns about his mental health, publicly advocated for Trump to be physically contained for an “urgent evaluation” of his mental state.
In November, CNN commentator Ana Navarro compared President Trump to someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Talking about Trump’s behavior, she said, “I can tell you from an untrained eye, it looks weird. It makes me recall people who have early onset dementia, it makes me recall people who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. His constant repetition — he goes back to the same themes over and over again. He continues repeating the same lies, the same fabrications, picking the same fights.”
A group of CNN panelists in October also concluded that Trump had a “personality disorder.”