President Trump on Thursday bragged about how he ‘aced’ a ‘cognitive test’ that was administered ‘very recently’ and that doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center were ‘very surprised’ that he passed.
Trump also blasted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday for helping to paint a huge Black Lives Matter sign right in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan.
During an interview with Fox News on Thursday night, the president slammed his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, whom he accused of being ‘taken over by the radical left.’
Trump said Biden ‘didn’t take a cognitive test because he couldn’t pass one.’
The president added: ‘I actually took one very recently when I was – when the radical left was saying, is he all there, is he all there?
President Trump on Thursday told Fox News that he ‘aced’ a cognitive test during a recent trip to Walter Reed Medical Center. Trump is seen above at the White House meeting with Hispanic leaders on Thursday
‘I prove I was all there because I aced it. I aced the test and he should take the same exact test.’
Last November, Trump made an unscheduled trip to Walter Reed for what the White House said was a headstart on his annual physical.
But that claim was met with skepticism by Trump critics who speculated that the president may have had a health scare.
Then-White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the president decided to make the unscheduled visit to complete some routine checkups as part of his annual physical exam because he had a ‘down day.’
‘The President remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week’, Grisham added.
‘Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, DC, to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed’, Grisham had said in a statement.
The president was seen departing the White House residence shortly after 2pm on November 16 wearing a long dark overcoat and carrying what looked like a tan rectangle-shaped folder or envelope under his arm.
He entered a black SUV outside the White House and the motorcade departed for Walter Reed.
Upon arrival at the center, members of the Secret Service’s heavily armed counter-assault team were seen taking up positions at the hospital.
Last November, the president made an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. His motorcade is seen above arriving at the hospital on November 16
Reporters in the White House pool were forbidden to report on Trump’s departure until after he arrived at the military hospital, where presidents and their families traditionally receive medical care and annual checkups.
Rumors swirled that the president’s impromptu visit to the medical center could mean he was experiencing health issues.
‘The rumors are always flying’, Grisham told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro in an appearance on the network later that night where she discussed the medical checkup.
Can YOU pass President Trump’s cognitive test?
This is a copy of the sheet the examiner and patient fill out during the 10-minute test
President Donald Trump received a perfect score on a standard cognitive assessment test, his doctor revealed in a White House briefing in January 2018.
The 10-minute test, known as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), was created in 1996 for medical professionals to identify mild cognitive dysfunction.
It assesses concentration, attention, memory, language, calculations, orientation, executive functions and visual skills.
Trump scored 30 out of 30. A score above 26 is deemed ‘normal,’ while anything lower than that is cause for concern.
Those who do well on the test do not need further cognitive examination.
The average score is 27.4. People with mild cognitive impairment score an average of 22.1, while Alzheimer’s patients tend to score around 16.
First used in Montreal, Canada, the test is now one of the most respected methods of assessing cognitive health worldwide, available in 55 languages and dialects, and formats for testing illiterate patients and in other cultural settings (by changing certain references).
Trump is the first U.S. president to undergo the test as part of his presidential physical.
This is how a doctor performs the test, and how a patient is graded:
1. ALTERNATING TRAIL MAKING
TEST: The patient is told to pair up five numbers and letters (1-5, A-E) in ascending order (pairing 1 with A, 2 with B, etc) while drawing connect-the-dots lines.
RESULT: The patient gets a point for every successful pair: 1-A; 2-B; 3-C; 4-D; 5-E. No lines can be crossed. The patient earns 0 if they make a mistake that is not immediately corrected.
2. VISUOCONSTRUCTIONAL SKILLS (CUBE)
TEST: Draw your own version of the cube in the space next to it.
It must be exactly the same as the one printed on the page.
RESULT: One point if it is drawn correctly (i.e. three-dimensional, all lines are drawn, no line is added, lines are relatively parallel and their length is similar – no point if any of those criteria are missing).
3. VISUOCONSTRUCTIONAL SKILLS (CLOCK)
TEST: Draw a clock, putting in all the numbers and set the time to 10 minutes past 11 o’clock.
RESULT: One point is allocated for each of the following three criteria:
- Contour (ONE POINT): the clock face must be a circle with only minor distortion acceptable (i.e. slight imperfection on closing the circle).
- Numbers (ONE POINT): all clock numbers must be present with no additional numbers; numbers must be in the correct order and placed in the approximate quadrants on the clock face. Roman numerals are acceptable. Numbers can be placed outside the circle contour.
- Hands (ONE POINT): there must be two hands jointly indicating the correct time; the hour hand must be clearly shorter than the minute hand. Hands must be centered within the clock face with their junction close to the clock center.
A point is not assigned for a given element if any of the above-criteria are not met.
TEST: Name each animal.
- Rhinoceros (or rhino)
- Camel (or dromedary)
RESULT: One point for each
The doctor tells the patient that they are going to read a list of words that the patient must remember. At the end the patient has to tell them as many as they remember; it doesn’t matter what order.
The doctor then reads five words, one per second:
FACE, VELVET, CHURCH, DAISY, RED
As the patient recites the words, the doctor marks a check in the box for each word said aloud.
The patient indicates when they have recalled all they can.
The doctor reads the list a second time. At the end the patient has to recall all of them again.
As the patient recites the words, the doctor marks a check in the box for each word said aloud – including the first five again.
The patient indicates when they have recalled all they can.
At the end of the test, the doctor asks the patient to recall the five words, unprompted. This is the part of the test that is scored.
SCORING: No plus points, only minus if they get it wrong.
Recall numbers: The doctor reads a list of five numbers at a rate of one number per second; the patient recalls them exactly as they were said:
2 1 8 5 4
Recall numbers backwards: The doctor reads three numbers at a rate of one number per second; the patient recalls them backwards:
7 4 2
SCORING: One point per sequence correctly recited.
TEST (LETTERS): The doctor reads a list of letters at a rate of one per second. Every time they say the letter ‘A’, the patient has to tap their hand:
F B A C M N A A J K L B A F A K D E A A A J A M O F A A B
SCORING: One point if there is zero errors or just one error (i.e. the patient tapped their hand on another letter just once).
TEST (MATH): The patient starts at 100, then must count down by subtracting seven every time, until the examiner tells them to stop:
SCORING: Total of three points.
- No points if there are no correct subtractions
- One point for just one correct subtractions
- Two points for two or three correct subtractions
- Three points for four or five correct subtractions
If the first subtraction is wrong, but each subsequent subtraction follows the pattern of seven, they still earn every other point. For example, they may say ’92 – 85 – 78 – 71 – 64′. While ’92’ is incorrect, all subsequent numbers are subtracted by seven, meaning they only made one mistake, and would a score of three.
7. SENTENCE REPETITION
Step one: The examiner reads this sentence, and the patient has to repeat it exactly: ‘I only know that John is the one to help today’.
Step two: The examiner then reads another sentence, with the same instruction: ‘The cat always hid under the couch when dogs were in the room’.
SCORING: One point for each correct sentence.
- Exact repetition
- No synonyms substituted (i.e. it must be ‘hid’ not ‘hides’)
8. VERBAL FLUENCY
TEST: The doctor reads out a letter (F), and the patient has to think of words that starts with that letter. The aim is to reach 11 words or more in 60 seconds.
- The words cannot be proper nouns, like Bob or Boston
- The words cannot be the same sounding word but with different suffixes (like love, lover, loving)
SCORING: One point if they reach 11 words or more in one minute.
TEST: The patient has to describe what the relationship is between certain words (i.e, an orange and a banana; a train and a bicycle; a ruler and a watch).
There is one practice trial (ORANGE AND BANANA) before two scored pairs (TRAIN AND BICYCLE; WATCH AND RULER).
SCORING: One point for each of the last two pairs.
- Train and bicycle: means of transport, means of traveling, used to take trips
- Ruler and watch: means of measurement, measuring instruments
- Train and bicycle: they have wheels
- Ruler and watch: they have numbers
10. DELAYED RECALL
TEST: The patient has to recall all the words they heard earlier (FACE, VELVET, CHURCH, DAISY, RED).
SCORING: One point for each word recalled (with no cues from the examiner).
TEST: Say the exact date, and the name of the place they are in, including the city.
SCORING: One point for each correct answer. No points if they make any errors.
Add up all the points accumulating, adding a point if the patient has fewer than 12 years of formal educations.
- Around 16: cognitive health of an Alzheimer’s patient
- Around 22: cognitive health of someone with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
- Above 26: Normal
- 30: Perfect score (Trump scored 30/30).
One theme of the current presidential campaign is Biden’s mental acuity.
The former vice president has made several verbal gaffes in speeches and debate appearances, but his supporters insist it is the result of a stutter.
At a Wilmington, Delaware, news conference last month, Biden was asked about his mental sharpness.
Trump and his supporters have speculated that Biden is not interested in having more debates because he is fearful that the public would get a better idea of his diminished mental acuity.
But the former vice president said he has nothing to hide.
‘I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against,’ Biden said.
In January 2018, Trump’s then-physician in the White House, Dr. Ronny Jackson, administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment to the president.
Trump has been plagued with claims that he had early dementia or some other mental disorder that rendered him incompetent to serve under the 25th Amendment.
Jackson told reporters during an unusual, televised briefing in January 2018 that the president requested the test to eliminate any doubt about his mental fitness.
Trump said the exam consisted of images of animals he was asked to identify. That portion he found to be easy.
Last month, after giving the commencement speech at West Point, Trump appeared to struggle navigating a ramp, leading to speculation he had health issues
Observers also grew alarmed at the sight of the president using two hands to drink a glass of water
Trump said the difficulty level of the exam increased, according to Breitbart, and administrators began asking him to repeat disassociated words at various intervals.
The president took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment at Walter Reed military hospital near Washington, D.C. The 30-question test includes measures of short-term memory, concentration and attention.
Trump’s health was also the subject of fierce speculation last month after he was seen struggling to hold a glass of water with one hand and shuffling down a ramp after giving the commencement speech at West Point.
The sight of Trump struggling to navigate the ramp lead to speculation he had Parkinson’s.
At a rally in Tulsa days later, Trump held up a glass of water with one hand after giving a rambling speech explaining his walk down the ramp.
In his interview with Fox News on Thursday, the president also expressed disappointment with de Blasio, particularly after he said that he was ‘very nice’ to the mayor and that Trump ‘got him ventilators when he needed them.’
‘I got him hospital help when he needed it,’ Trump said of de Blasio and the requests for assistance from New York officials when the city and state were hit hard in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘I got him everything he needed, I got him the gowns, the masks, I got him everything, the shields,’ the president said.
‘I got them and everything. I spoke to him many times.
‘He couldn’t have been nicer and then he throws a big Black Lives Matter sign right down in the middle of Fifth Avenue and all merchants along Fifth Avenue are furious.
But days later, the president used one hand to drink a glass of water during a rally in Tulsa in an attempt to debunk speculation about his health
‘They are furious. And the whole city is furious. The city is a city that’s enraged.’
Trump was reacting to events from earlier on Thursday, when de Blasio was heckled and taunted as he helped paint a giant ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue Thursday.
De Blasio was pictured filling in the letter ‘L’ on the installation earlier this morning, tweeting: ‘Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message.’
He was joined by New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray, and Reverend Al Sharpton.
But upon his arrival at 11:30am, it appeared not all in attendance were happy to meet the mayor’s acquaintance.
A chant of ‘douchebag de Blasio’ broke out among a small contingent of the crowd as he crossed the road.
This is such an important moment for our city,’ an undeterred de Blasio told volunteers, who chanted, ‘Black lives matter!’ with their paint rollers suspended in the air.
Trump also hit out at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (second from left) who helped paint a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday. Al Sharpton is seen far left and New York’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, is seen second from right
‘We are making a statement today of what we value in New York City’.
De Blasio left around 20 minutes later.
The mayor had last week temporarily called off the mural just feet from Trump’s former home a day after engaging in a Twitter spat with the president.
Trump branded the painting it a ‘symbol of hate’ and demanded the money for its creation be spent on the NYPD instead.
The mayor announced the city would paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on streets at locations around the city following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.
Department of Transportation workers and activists began work at the site at around 10am Thursday morning.
Speaking Thursday De Blasio said: ‘When I announced that we would be doing this here, President Trump said that we would be denigrating the luxury of Fifth Avenue. Let me tell you, we are not denigrating anything. We are liberating Fifth Avenue.
‘Let’s show Donald Trump what he does not understand. Let’s paint it right in front of his building for him.’
Trump also hit out at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying he was ‘so good to him…like nobody has ever been good.
‘And all you end up getting out of that place is prosecuted and have a lot of trouble.’
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a subpoena by a grand jury in Manhattan seeking Trump’s tax returns and other financial documents as part of an investigation into the Trump Organization.
Trump has also been the subject of several lawsuits brought by New York State’s attorney general, Letitia James.
In November, a New York State judge ordered Trump to pay $2million for misusing his namesake charitable foundation, resulting in funds being used to advance his 2016 presidential campaign.
The ruling was the result of a lawsuit by the state’s attorney general against the president and three of his adult children over the now-dissolved Donald J. Trump Foundation.
During his interview with Hannity on Thursday, Trump hit out at de Blasio and Cuomo, saying that their leadership has led to an exodus of residents to low-tax Florida.
Trump branded the painting it a ‘symbol of hate’ and demanded the money for its creation be spent on the NYPD instead
‘New York is not the place that it was,’ the president said on Thursday.
‘Everyone’s leaving, they’re moving to Florida, they’re moving to other places.
‘It’s very sad, actually, to see what happened.’
Last year, the president, a native New Yorker, announced that he was making Florida his permanent residence.
Trump has owned the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach since 1985 and has spent more time there during his presidency than at his penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York.
‘My family and I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence,’ Trump said on Twitter.
‘Despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state,’ he said, referring to New York.
A life-long New Yorker, Trump was raised in the city’s Queens borough and later moved to Manhattan.
Trump Tower serves as both his residence and the headquarters of the Trump Organization, his real estate company.
‘As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart!’ Trump said.
‘Good riddance. It’s not like @realDonaldTrump paid taxes here anyway. He’s all yours, Florida,’ Cuomo said in a tweet.