This may have been the single most disappointing day for the national media since November 2016.
“Absolutely he is fit for duty,” proclaimed Dr. Ronny Jackson. “I think he will remain fit for duty for the remainder of this term and even the remainder of another term if he is elected.” He gave Trump a clean bill of health on virtually everything, his diet and weight being a notable exception. But even there, said Jackson, he’s doing surprisingly well given his intake of fast-food garbage. How is that possible, asked the White House press corps? Genes, my friends, genes, Jackson answered, adding that he joked to POTUS that if his diet over the past 20 years had been better he might live to be 200.
White House doctor says despite President Trump's fast food habit and lack of exercise, he's in "excellent" condition, "he has incredibly good genes, and it's just the way God made him." https://t.co/NsTmll8Dpj pic.twitter.com/0RlLogiQ3p
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) January 16, 2018
Both of Trump’s parents lived to a ripe old age so the possibility of him serving two terms in good health (he’d be 78 when he leaves office) is quite real.
But never mind all that. Is he demented or not? the media wanted to know. Jackson:
Dr. Jackson: "I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability, or his neurological function. So, I was not going to do a cognitive exam…The reason that we did [it] is, plain & simple, @POTUS asked me to do it." pic.twitter.com/2o7O7XHxBv
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 16, 2018
The clip doesn’t include it but he went on to say that Trump scored 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Some reporters are already leaning into Truther territory, questioning the weight recorded by Jackson for Trump, which is kinda sorta understandable given the impression Trump’s last doctor made during the campaign. But Jackson’s no Trump crony. He wasn’t even named White House physician by POTUS. He was chosen during the presidency of George W. Bush, served throughout Obama’s presidency, and has now continued with the Trump White House. There’s no reason to doubt his objectivity. On the contrary, former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer vouched for him today:
Dr. Jackson is a phenomenal doctor and a really great guy. He and his team took great care of all of us for many years
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) January 16, 2018
Flustered by all the good news, one of the reporters towards the end of today’s briefing threw up a Hail Mary and asked Jackson if Trump is addicted to drugs. Nope, it turns out.
Exit question: Can we move past all the 25th Amendment blather now? It was never going to happen absent *very* obvious evidence of incapacity, like Trump drooling on himself. Given Jackson’s flying-colors prognosis, it’s never going to happen, period.