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WH doctor: Trump in 'excellent' health, mentally fit for office
President Trump's doctor on Tuesday gave him a clean bill of health, declaring him physically and mentally fit for the challenges of the nation's highest office.
Navy Rear Adm. Dr. Ronny Jackson, who has served as the presidential physician since 2013, conducted a lengthy and unusual briefing at the White House where he offered a detailed rundown of Trump's first physical as president.
Jackson said he has interacted with Trump, 71, several times a day over the past year and saw no need to conduct a cognitive evaluation as part of the physical because the president is "very sharp" and "very intact."
But at Trump's urging, Jackson selected and administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment during the president's physical exam last week at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The exam tests for cognitive disorders, like Alzheimer's disease, that can occur in older patients. It asks people to identify animals, draw shapes and recall certain words. It is not a psychological evaluation.
Trump scored a 30 out of 30, Jackson said, a score he said should put to rest questions about Trump's mental fitness.
"There's no indication whatsoever that he has any cognitive issues," Jackson said. "I've found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes."
He said that Trump's "overall health is excellent," adding that the president had mostly normal results on several tests of his cholesterol and heart health.
"His cardiac performance during his physical exam was very good, he continues to enjoy the significant, long-term cardiac and overall health benefits that come from a lifetime of abstinence from tobacco and alcohol," Jackson said.
"All data indicates the president is healthy and will remain so for the duration of his presidency," he added.
But Trump's bill of health was not perfect. The 239-pound president is one pound away from being considered obese, at least according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's body mass index calculator.
Jackson said the president does not have a set exercise routine and that his cholesterol is too high, even though he uses the drug Crestor to lower it.
The doctor said he is recommending Trump up his dose of Crestor and is working with nutritionists and his medical team to design a better diet and exercise plan for Trump, whom he said could stand to lose 10 to 15 pounds.
One reporter asked how Trump could eat so much fast food and drink so much Diet Coke and still receive a good bill of health.
"It's called genetics, I don't know. Some people have good genes," Jackson said.
The president is taking several other medications, including a low dose of Aspirin for heart health, a cream for rosacea and a multivitamin.
Jackson also said the president takes Propecia, a prescription medicine meant to address hair loss.
The doctor's appearance in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room comes at a tumultuous time at the White House, centered in part on questions about Trump's mental fitness.
The questions reached a fever pitch after the publication of the book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," in which author Michael Wolff paints a picture of a chaotic administration led by a president ill-equipped for the job.
But Trump was pleased by his medical report and appeared to see it as an opportunity to push back on the book.
Jackson said Trump ordered White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to let him answer every question the press had about his health. Jackson spoke and took questions for 56 minutes.
The doctor sought to put to rest several questions raised by the media over the president's recent public appearances.
Trump appeared to slur his words in two recent speeches, during which he took a break to drink water.
Jackson said he had given the over-the-counter drug Sudafed to the president for congestion, which gave him dry mouth. The president does not have dentures or partial dentures, his doctor said.
Reporters asked about everything from Trump's cholesterol levels to his love for McDonald's and golfing habits.
That left the media just a short period of time to ask Sanders questions about other pressing issues, like Trump's vulgar remarks about certain countries and a potential government shutdown.
Jonathan Easley contributed.