Vice President Mike Pence toppled a brewing story on Wednesday, telling Fox News that he doesn’t remember being told to be “on standby” to take over the duties of the president if Donald Trump had to go under anesthesia during a trip to Walter Reed hospital last fall that wasn’t listed on the president’s official agenda.
As the Daily Wire reported over the weekend, a new book claims Trump visited Walter Reed for a full examination after a series of “mini-strokes” that left the president temporarily paralyzed.
The book, “Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President” was excerpted in the New York Times — an excerpt that included claims “word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby.” The book does make clear that Pence was never asked to assume the duties of president and Donald Trump did not go under anesthesia.
The White House denied the reports earlier this week, both through Donald Trump and through the White House physician.
Trump tweeted that “It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate – FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!”
The White House, through the president’s official doctor, Dr. Sean P. Conley, officially denied that Trump suffered from a series of “mini-strokes” that left him temporarily incapacitated: “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.”
The denials have not dismissed the speculation, however, and Pence told Fox News, flatly, that he does not recall being placed on standby.
“President Donald Trump is in excellent health,” the Vice President told host Bret Baier. “And Bret, I’m always informed of the president’s movements, whether it was on that day or any other day, I’m informed. But there was nothing out of the ordinary about that moment or that day. I just refer any other questions to the White House physician.”
“I don’t recall being told to be on standby. I was informed that the president had a doctor’s appointment,” Pence said. “I’ve got to tell you, part of this job is you are always on standby if you’re vice president of the United States. But the American people can be confident that this president is in remarkable good health, and every single day I see that energy.”
The president told reporters, at the time, that he made an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed in order to clear through parts of his annual physical ahead of an official appointment in February. Then-press secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters that “Trump decided to get parts of his physical done early because he had a ‘free weekend’ in Washington, but did not respond to questions about why Trump did not get his full physical exam — which typically takes 4 hours — done this weekend,” according to CNN.
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