New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt claimed in a new book that Vice President Mike Pence was informed to ready himself to assume presidential duties after President Trump was briefly hospitalized in 2019.
Donald Trump just responded to the allegation on Tuesday, tweeting that the incident “Never happened to THIS candidate – FAKE NEWS,” and White House physician Dr. Sean Conley also issued a statement affirming the president’s claim.
Speculation ran wild in November of 2019 after it was revealed that Donald Trump made an unannounced visit to Walter Reed hospital. The White House said at the time that the visit was made as a part of his annual physical exam, and Trump tweeted the morning after the visit that “everything very good.”
Schmidt claims that there was a much more serious underlying medical problem in his forthcoming book, which was obtained by CNN this week.
“In the hours leading up to Trump’s trip to the hospital, word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized,” Schmidt wrote, though he cited no sources to back up his claim.
Trump has dealt with an onslaught of speculation about his health from the left as many on the right question the cognitive health of opponent Joe Biden.
Trump responded on Tuesday, “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!”
Trump’s tweet is already igniting further speculation about his health, as Schmidt’s book did not allege that Trump specifically received treatment for a stroke. #TrumpStroke was trending on Twitter with over 60,000 tweets on Tuesday morning.