Donald Trump offered what appeared to be a contradictory rationale for his unannounced visit to Walter Reed Medical Center last year, prompting a White House reporter to blast the explanation as a “lie.”
Trump responded this week to a new book claiming that Vice President Mike Pence was placed on standby to serve as president in the event that Trump was incapacitated during the 2019 hospital trip, denying reports that he had suffered a series of mini-strokes.
He called the report “fake news” and in one tweet said that he was making the trip to Walter Reed in order to complete his annual physical.
“Mike Pence was never put on standby, & there were no mini-strokes. This is just more Fake News by @CNN, a phony story,” he tweeted. “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.”
As many pointed out, the explanation offered this week contradicted the original statement from the White House, who said at the time that the trip was the beginning of his physical, not the end. Critics at the time noted that this was not standard procedure, questioning the explanation.
The rationale offered this week prompted Playboy correspondent Brian Karem to hit back, accusing the president of lying.
“That is a lie,” he tweeted. “@realDonaldTrump when I asked this on the Southlawn in March you told me it was to BEGIN your physical not end it. You also said within 90 days you would finish it because you’d been so busy. Though apparently you still had time for golf.”
Karem has clashed with Trump and the White House in the past, with some contentious exchanges during press briefings. Last year, the administration suspended the reporter’s credentials after he got into a verbal spat with former adviser Sebastian Gorka during a July event for conservative social media figures.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump has been steadfast in refusing that there was any serious medical emergency that led to the trip, despite the book’s suggestion. The tell-all book from New York Times writer Michael S. Schmidt, called Donald Trump V. The United States, claimed that Pence was told to stay on standby in case Trump needed to undergo anesthesia.
Schmidt reportedly did not suggest that Trump suffered a stroke or series of small strokes, which raised eyebrows when Trump appeared to deny that claim unprompted this week.