Trump completes first physical as president amid questions about his fitness

USA Today Politics 11 days ago

WASHINGTON – President Trump completed his first annual physical exam Friday since becoming commander-in-chief, a routine practice that has taken on heightened scrutiny amid questions about his mental fitness. 

Dr. Ronny Jackson gave the exam to Trump at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., right before the president departed for a holiday weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. Results were not immediately announced.

Jackson, the president's physician for three consecutive administrations, is scheduled to speak with reporters on Tuesday after compiling lab results over the holiday weekend – an unusual step in this annual White House ritual.

Trump's physical health has been questioned and is often the subject of mystery. 

Trump appears to be overweight. The 71-year-old president is known to eat his fair share of junk food, and has famously eschewed exercise beyond golf. Trump has said he takes statin, a drug designed to lower cholesterol levels. After a physical during the 2016 campaign, a statement from his doctor said the 6-foot-3 New York businessman weighed 236 pounds. 

The White House announced it would offer reporters the chance to speak with Jackson in the middle of an outside debate over the president's mental fitness. 

Critics began openly questioning Trump's psyche last week following a tweet in which he said he has a bigger nuclear button than North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, and the publication of Fire and Fury, a book about the White House, in which anonymous Trump acquaintances questioned the president's stability.  

Psychiatric exams are not part of presidential physicals, but Trump aides have insisted that Trump doesn't need one. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters Monday that Trump is "sharp as a tack."

Trump himself mocked the claims, proclaiming himself a "very stable genius" who won the presidency on his first try.

He also expressed confidence before the physical.

"It better go well," Trump told reporters Thursday. "Otherwise, the stock market will not be happy."

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