Doctor says Trump aces cognitive test
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump performed “exceedingly well” on a surprise cognitive screening test administered last week, his doctor said Tuesday, as the White House continued to bat back questions about the president’s mental fitness for office.
Navy doctor Ronny Jackson, who administered Trump’s first presidential physical last week, said Trump received a perfect score on a test designed to detect early signs of memory loss and other mild cognitive impairment. He also reported the 6-foot-3 president weighed in at 239 pounds — three pounds heavier than he was in September 2016, the last time Trump revealed his weight to the public. That number puts Trump on the cusp — but just under — the obesity mark.
“The president’s overall health is excellent,” said Jackson, who predicted Trump would remain healthy for the duration of his presidency despite a diet heavy on fast food and an exercise regime limited to weekend golf outings.
“It’s called genetics,” Jackson said. “I don’t know. ... He has incredibly good genes and that’s just the way God made him.”
Presidents don’t typically sit for cognitive assessments during their periodic physical exams. But Jackson said Trump personally requested the test as he continues to face questions about his mental acuity for office. Such questions have escalated in the wake of an unflattering new book that paints Trump as a man-child who has trouble processing information and recognizing old friends.
But the 71-year-old president performed “exceedingly well” on the test Jackson said, receiving a perfect score.
“He’s very sharp. He’s very articulate when he speaks to me,” said Jackson, who works in close proximity to the president. Jackson accused doctors who have tried to diagnose Trump from afar of performing “tabloid psychiatry.”
Still, Jackson said Trump acknowledged he’d be healthier if he lost a few pounds by exercising more and eating better. Jackson said he’d be arranging to have a dietitian consult with the White House chef to cut calories and would be recommending a low-impact, aerobic exercise program for Trump, with the aim of shedding 10 to 15 pounds this year.