President Donald Trump, who’s been insisting in the past 24 hours that he definitely didn’t have a stroke when he went to Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Maryland last November, offered a reason on Tuesday night for his hospital visit that contradicted the excuse he had given at the time.
“The reason for the visit to Walter Reed, together with the full press pool, was to complete my yearly physical,” Trump tweeted late Tuesday as he railed once more against the notion that he had gone to the hospital to treat mini-strokes.
Mike Pence was never put on standby, & there were no mini-strokes. This is just more Fake News by @CNN, a phony story. The reason for the visit to Walter Reed, together with the full press pool, was to complete my yearly physical. Short visit, then returned (with press) to W.H… https://t.co/GUVdbJRvqD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 2, 2020
But the President’s new claim that he had gone to Walter Reed to “complete” the physical directly contradicts what he had said shortly after he was suddenly admitted to the hospital in mid-November, when he claimed he “began phase one” of his yearly physical.
“Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year,” Trump tweeted at the time.
Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center. Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2019
Then-White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham had given the same excuse when Trump abruptly went to the hospital, telling the press that the President was “taking advantage of a free weekend” to “begin portions of his routine annual physical exam.”
Earlier this week, CNN reported that New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt had written in his forthcoming book that Vice President Mike Pence had been on “standby” in case Trump “had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized” during his hospital visit.
Trump flew into a rage in what seemed to be a response to CNN’s report on Tuesday morning, denying that he had “suffered a series of mini-strokes” even though the CNN report had not mentioned anything about strokes. However, he may have been responding to CNN contributor Joe Lockhart’s tweet wondering if Trump had “a stroke which he is hiding from the American public.”
White House physical Dr. Sean Conley released a statement claiming that Trump “has not experienced nor been evaluated” for strokes and that the President “remains healthy.”