Last night, CNN reported that an advance copy of New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt’s upcoming book alleges that during Trump’s much-speculated-upon mysterious and sudden trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in November 2019, Vice President Mike Pence was placed on “standby” in case he was needed to “take over the powers of the presidency temporarily.”
The emergency measure was prepared for in the eventuality that Trump had to be anesthetized for some kind of procedure. While such a drastic eventuality did not ultimately come to pass, the revelation that it was considered seems to indicate that there is much about Trump’s health that we do not know. What’s more, hospital staff were not given their customary advance warning about the presidential visit, indicating it was likely a sudden emergency.
The bizarre saga took a turn for the even weirder this morning when the president himself through fuel on the fires of speculation. He took to Twitter to claim that people are trying to convince his followers that their “favorite President” went to Walter Reed for treatment for “a series of mini-strokes.” The president insisted that such allegations are “FAKE NEWS” and that it never happened to “THIS candidate” but might have happened to “another candidate from another Party!” which is presumably an entirely baseless allegation against the 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or former Vice President Joe Biden.
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. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2020
Bizarrely, as The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman pointed out on Twitter, Trump is denying “a series of mini-strokes” that no actual reporter has claimed he suffered from. The tweet has the distinct air of the Shakespearan observation that “the lady doth protest too much.” Why is Trump thinking about some kind of mini-strokes that, until he tweeted about them, weren’t even in the news?
If he really is sick and did suffer from some kind of stroke incident, the American people obviously have a right to know. These new suspicions also draw renewed attention to the supremely odd, seemingly unhealthy manner in which Trump struggled to descend a simple ramp at a West Point event in June. It’s long been clear from his rhetoric and behavior that this president is unwell in the head, but now it seems increasingly likely that he is also physically unwell.
We didn’t really need any more reasons to vote Trump out at this point, but we can safely add this uncertainty to the ever-growing pile.
At least, no actual reporter has reported.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) September 1, 2020
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