President Donald Trump posted a baffling tweet on Tuesday declaring that he has not had a series of “mini-strokes”— and had the White House physician release a statement backing up his claim.
“It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate – FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted.
The tweet was followed hours later by a statement from White House physician Sean Conley, who said he was speaking out at Trump’s request. “I can confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies, as have been incorrectly reported in the media,” Conley said.
No major media outlet appears to have reported in recent days that Trump had a series of mini-strokes.
A White House aide told NBC News that Trump was referring to a tweet from former President Bill Clinton’s former press secretary Joe Lockhart, who asked in a tweet Monday if Trump had “a stroke which he is hiding from the American public.” Lockhart did not mention “mini-strokes.”
Lockhart tweeted that his question was sparked by a new account of Trump’s mysterious November 2019 visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in a new book that went on sale Tuesday.
In his new book, “Donald Trump vs. the United States,” New York Times reporter Michael S. Schmidt reported, “In the hours leading up to Trump’s trip to the hospital, word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.”
Vice President Mike Pence never assumed those powers, and Schmidt’s book didn’t speculate on the nature of the visit. The book “says nothing about mini-strokes,” Schmidt tweeted Tuesday.
Trump’s visit to Walter Reed last year was unannounced and remained shrouded in secrecy for two days as the president remained out of public view.
The White House later said the visit was routine and Trump said it was “phase one of my yearly physical.” Conley said in June that Trump had completed his physical in April, and reported that he “remains healthy.”
Peter Alexander contributed.