President Donald Trump on Tuesday elevated a fringe theory that he had a “series of mini-strokes” that prompted his unannounced visit to the Walter Reed medical center last November.
“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,” the president tweeted. “Never happened to THIS candidate – FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!”
Later Tuesday, Trump’s physician released a statement saying that the president hadn’t had a stroke or a mini-stroke and that he hadn’t experienced “any acute cardiovascular emergencies.”
“I can confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies,” Sean Conley wrote, noting that the president had asked him to release the statement.
It was unclear who the president was blaming for spreading the unsubstantiated claim about his health — no news outlets had reported such a claim.
NBC News’ Peter Alexander tweeted on Tuesday that a White House aide said Trump was referring to a tweet from Joe Lockhart, a press secretary under President Bill Clinton, suggesting that the president had had a stroke.
Neither the president nor his staff has ever said exactly why Trump visited Walter Reed for an unannounced physical exam last fall.
The New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt reported in his recent book, “Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President,” that Vice President Mike Pence was told that Trump might have to be anesthetized during his visit to Walter Reed. Pence was on standby to temporarily assume the powers of the presidency if necessary.
“Book says nothing about mini-strokes,” Schmidt tweeted on Tuesday.
Last month, Don Winslow, a novelist and outspoken critic of Trump, tweeted that he’d heard from unnamed sources that Trump had had a “series” of “mini-strokes” while in office.
On Tuesday, Winslow tweeted, “More than a dozen Secret Service agents are aware of Donald Trump’s medical condition and mini-strokes.”