Eight Days Later

Ken AshfordTrump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

It’s been eight days since Trump’s mysterious visit to Walter Reed, and the only thing that has become clear is that we are being lied to.

Trump and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham initially billed Trump’s visit as the first part of the President’s annual physical. But two days later, the President’s doctor described the hospital visit as an “interim checkup,” a term physicians told CNN implies a separate visit that is not part of an annual physical.In a bid to quell concerns and speculation surrounding the visit, the White House released a memo from Dr. Sean Conley, the President’s physician, describing the visit as “a routine, planned interim checkup as part of the regular, primary preventative care he receives throughout the year.

“Despite speculation otherwise, he said Trump “has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues.”The immediate effect of Conley’s memo was to bolster the White House’s claims that Trump was not being treated for an urgent medical issue.

But the memo also revealed a shift in the White House’s explanations for the purpose of Trump’s visit to Walter Reed.

Multiple sources and experts have said that the President’s trip to Walter Reed was abnormal or outside of the protocol for routine visits to Walter Reed. The White House has not denied this, but Conley claimed “due to scheduling uncertainties, the trip was kept off the record.”

Given that the White House had previously given plenty of advance notice about the President’s past physical exams, last weekend’s visit to Walter Reed reportedly took everyone by surprise, including much of the staff at the hospital itself. Whenever the President is planning a visit to Walter Reed, an institution-wide notice goes out, making staff aware of certain road and corridor closings. According to a person familiar with the matter, that didn’t happen last weekend.

Also striking: the fact that the president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, rode with Trump in the presidential motorcade. Typically, the doctor rides separately from the President for security reasons. A former White House doctor told me it had never happened during their time there.

Another oddity? Trump hasn’t golfed in almost a month. And he is spending more time in the residency, rather than the Oval Office.