WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump did not have a stroke and remains healthy, his physician said on Tuesday in response to a new book suggesting Vice President Mike Pence was put on standby to assume presidential powers during a sudden Trump medical visit last year.
In the book, titled “Donald Trump v. The United States,” New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt writes that word went out in the West Wing around the time of the visit last November for the vice president to be on standby if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would require he be anesthetized, according to news outlets that obtained a copy.
“I don’t recall being told to be on standby,” Pence said on Tuesday in an interview with Fox News. “I was informed that the president had a doctor’s appointment,” he said.
Trump and his physician appeared to respond on Tuesday to author Don Winslow’s posting on Twitter last month that Winslow had received three communications from administration whistleblowers that Trump had “a series of mini-strokes.”
“I can confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies, as have been incorrectly reported in the media,” Dr. Sean Conley said in a statement.
“The president remains healthy and I have no concerns about his ability to maintain the rigorous schedule ahead of him. As stated in my last report, I expect him to remain fit to execute the duties of the Presidency,” Conley added.
On Twitter, Trump also denied having suffered a series of mini-strokes.
At the time, the White House described Trump’s unexpected and unscheduled visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a start to his annual physical that included a quick exam and some laboratory tests.
But the trip triggered questions on social media since it occurred months before the annual physical had been carried out in the past.
Trump, known for his love of hamburgers and well-done steaks and an aversion to the gym, gained weight from his physical in 2017, pushing his body mass index into the obese category.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Diane Bartz and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Howard Goller and Lisa Shumaker)