- The Washington Times
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

President Trump said Tuesday his visit to a medical center over the weekend was “very routine” and that “sick” media speculation about his unusual checkup spooked his wife and aides.

“These people are sick. They’re sick,” Mr. Trump told a Cabinet meeting. “We don’t have freedom of the press in this country; we have the opposite. We have a very corrupt media, and I hope they can get their act straightened out.”

The Saturday trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center sparked confusion and speculation about the president’s health, since it wasn’t on his schedule and it is unusual for a president to have an annual physical in stages months apart.

The president insists it was much ado about nothing. He said he decided to get some of his checkup done because he expects the new year to be rather busy. He plans to complete the rest of his checkup in January.

Mr. Trump on Tuesday claimed first lady Melania Trump was alarmed when he returned to the White House on Saturday.

“I came back, my wife said, ‘Darling, are you okay?’ ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘Oh, they’re reporting you may have had a heart attack,’” Mr. Trump said, describing Mrs. Trump’s comments.

Mr. Trump’s remarks to his Cabinet served as the White House’s main counter-programming to a House hearing on his potential impeachment.

The president criticized Democrats leading the inquiry, though some of his most extensive comments were aimed at the media, saying outlets were at fault for speculating about his health, despite the lack of advanced notice from the White House about his sudden trip.

“It’s very, very bad and very, very dangerous for our country,” he said.

“I had a very routine physical, visited the family of a young soldier who was very badly injured,” he added about his trip to Walter Reed. “He was in the operating room. I toured the hospital for a little while. I was out of there very quickly and got back home. And I get greeted with the news that, ‘We understand you had a heart attack.’”

In some ways, Mr. Trump is getting a taste of his own medicine.

Mr. Trump speculated about the health of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton after she nearly collapsed during a Sept. 11 memorial event in New York during the campaign. Her campaign later said Mrs. Clinton had a bout of pneumonia.

“It is hot and it is always hot when I perform, because the crowds are so big, these rooms were not designed for this kind of crowd,” Mr. Trump said later that month during a rally in Ohio. “I don’t know folks, do you think Hillary could stand up here for an hour?”

Addressing recent speculation, Mr. Trump’s physician — U.S. Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley — said late Monday that the visit was “a routine, planned interim checkup as part of the regular primary preventative care he receives throughout the year.”

“The president has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues,” the doctor said in a letter released by the White House. “Specifically, he did not undergo any specialized cardiac or neurologic evaluations.”

Dr. Conley said that “due to scheduling uncertainties, the trip was kept off the record.”

⦁ Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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