Trump brags about performance on cognitive test for second time in a week

President Trump on Wednesday, for the second time in a week, boasted about his performance on a cognitive test, bragging at length about his ability to recall five words in order.

Trump, in an interview intended to focus on the coronavirus pandemic, told Fox News analyst Marc Siegel that he asked the White House physicians about taking an acuity test to put to rest questions about his mental fitness.

“The first questions are very easy, the last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question,” Trump explained. “It’s like, you’ll go, ‘Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’ So they’d say, ‘Could you repeat that.’ So I said, ‘Yeah. So it’s person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’ “

“It’s actually not that easy. But for me it was easy,” Trump continued. “And that’s not an easy question. In other words, they ask it to you, they give you five names and you have to repeat them. And that’s OK. If you repeat them out of order, that’s OK. But, you know, it’s not as good. But then when you go back about 20, 25 minute later and they say go ‘Go back to that question…’ and you go, ‘Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’ They say, ‘That’s amazing. How did you do that?’ ” 

“I do it because I have, like, a good memory,” the president concluded. “Because I’m cognitively there.”

The president offered two different timelines for when he took the test. He initially said it was administered roughly a year ago, but later explained how he asked Ronny Jackson, who stepped down as White House physician in early 2018, to administer the test.

Jackson told reporters after Trump’s 2018 physical exam that the president answered every question correctly on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a test designed to detect mild cognitive impairment or the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

The White House has not indicated in the two years since whether Trump took a cognitive exam as part of his yearly physical.  

The president has fixated on his performance on an assessment typically used to detect dementia as he attempts to paint presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as mentally incapable of handling the job as president.

In an interview with Chris Wallace that aired Sunday, Trump also cited his performance on the cognitive exam, which the “Fox News Sunday” anchor noted was “not that hardest test.”

“They have a picture and it says ‘What’s that?’ and it’s an elephant,” Wallace said.

“No, no, no. … You see, that’s all misrepresentation,” Trump responded, arguing that the test gets more difficult as it goes.

Earlier this month, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that doctors “were very surprised” that he “aced” the cognitive test while challenging Biden to take the same test.

Trump and Biden have both faced questions about their age and fitness for office.

Trump, 74, was the oldest president to ever to be elected and sworn into office. Biden would be 78 on Inauguration Day if he wins the November election.

Tags 2020 presidential election Chris Wallace cognitive test Donald Trump Fox News Joe Biden Sean Hannity

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