Two former Obama staffers are defending White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson amid conspiracy theories that he gave false information about Donald Trump's weight after the president's routine physical exam last week

By Tierney McAfee
January 17, 2018 04:26 PM
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Two former Obama staffers are defending White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson amid conspiracy theories that he gave false information about Donald Trump’s weight after the president’s routine physical exam last week.

Jackson was appointed to his role by former President Barack Obama in 2013.

Alyssa Mastromonaco, who served as Obama’sformer deputy chief of staff for operations, and Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to Obama, described the White House doctor in tweets as a “saint and a patriot” who “took great care of all of us for many years.”

Credit: Andy Buchanan/AFP/GettyImages

Their messages come as some Twitter users have launched a “girther” movement — a play on the Trump-led “birther” movement that questioned Obama’s citizenship — speculating that the president actually weighs more than Jackson let on.

During a White House briefing on Tuesday, Jackson said that Trump is 6-ft. 3-in. and weighs 239 lbs — one pound shy of being considered obese, according to the body mass index, which measures obesity by dividing a person’s weight by the square of their height.

Though Jackson said the president is in “excellent health,” the doctor also recommended that Trump lose 10 to 15 lbs. in the next year.

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As Vox notes, BMI is an imperfect measure of obesity and health. But that didn’t stop critics from airing their suspicions over Trump’s close proximity to obesity status.

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, for example, tweeted that he would give $100,000 to Trump’s favorite charity if the president would step on a scale in front of “an impartial medical professional.” Gunn later responded to allegations that he was “fat-shaming” the president, arguing that his tweet was aimed at “a pattern of lying” and was not about Trump’s weight.

The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman noted that past physicals put Trump at 6’2″, which would nudge his BMI from overweight to obese.

Others argued their point by comparing Trump to top athletes of similar heights and weights.

Sports Illustrated also compiled several other Trump vs. athlete visual comparisons.