"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," a new book reports

By Adam Carlson
September 01, 2020 01:25 PM
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President Donald Trump speaks during the 2020 Republican National Convention
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President Donald Trump, appearing to respond to a book that offers new details about an unannounced hospital visit last fall, tweeted Tuesday to insist that he had "never" had "a series of mini-strokes."

In characteristic fashion, he blamed the suggestion on "FAKE NEWS" that was tirelessly targeting "your favorite President, me."

Trump, 74, did not specifically name the new book by New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, Donald Trump v. The United States, which published on Tuesday. But it seems that was on his mind.

"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," Trump tweeted. "Never happened to THIS candidate - FAKE NEWS."

According to CNN, Schmidt writes in the book that Trump's trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in November likely had serious implications: "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."

While that did not occur, according to Schmidt — and the White House said Trump was at Walter Reed only for "a quick exam and labs" in order to get started on his annual physical while he had some free time — the visit drew scrutiny.

President Donald Trump
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CNN reported last year that it "did not follow the protocol of a routine ... exam" and, according to ABC News, it had not previously been on the president's public schedule.

At the time, a White House spokeswoman dismissed "conspiracy theories" about the hospital trip. The president's doctor said then that he didn't have "any specialized cardiac or neurological evaluations."

In a statement on Tuesday, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said he was asked by the president to "address the recent public comments regarding his health" and that Trump had not had a stroke, mini-stroke "or any acute cardiovascular emergencies."

Trump "remains healthy," Conley said.

Schmidt's book does not claim that Trump suffered a stroke, though the new reporting about the Walter Reed visit underlines the extent to which the Trump administration's statements are not always received truthfully given his history of lying.

In his tweet on Tuesday, Trump said the spotlight should instead be shone on his election rival Joe Biden.