Editor’s note: The following column originally appeared on NewBusters.
For almost an hour on Tuesday, the White House press corps stooped to a new low of embarrassment and clownishly liberal behavior, lobbing over a dozen questions at Navy Rear Admiral Dr. Ronny Jackson to insinuate that President Trump must be mentally ill to the point of Alzheimer’s disease. This was all despite Jackson’s insistence that he’s in great health.
Whether it was Bloomberg, CBS News Radio, CNN or The Washington Post, the long knives were out as the liberal media engaged in their own Pickett’s Charge to save their narrative that Trump’s mentally ill and thus must be removed via Congress or the 25th Amendment.
NBC’s Hallie Jackson started the crazy train with the second question, asking Dr. Jackson to repeat the results about “the president’s mental fitness” and alluded to Trump’s tweet about him being “a stable genius.”
The long knives were out as the liberal media engaged in their own Pickett’s Charge to save their narrative that Trump’s mentally ill and thus must be removed via Congress or the 25th Amendment.
Bloomberg’s Shannon Pettypiece brought up the media obsession over Trump supposedly slurring his words, but ABC’s Cecilia Vega spoke moments later with this bewildering question:
"Could you just elaborate in layman's terms, if possible, and you’ve done a great job at that, what you ruled out in these cognitive tests? You know, there have been reports the president has forgotten names, that he’s repeating himself. Are you ruling out things like early onset Alzheimer's? Are you looking at dementialike symptoms?"
Dr. Jackson hit back, noting that Trump’s cognitive test was the same one that’s often used at Walter Reed (the Montreal Cognitive Assessment) and since “the president got 30 out of 30 on that exam, I think that, you know, there's no indication that he has any kind of cognitive issues.”
CBS News Radio correspondent Steven Portnoy brought up the 25th Amendment, gushing over how “[a] lot of people in the country have been talking about it” and after explaining it in some detail, asked about what point from a “philosophical” standpoint would he “advise the cabinet that the president is unable to discharge his duties.”
CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta then arrived on scene:
JIM ACOSTA: Just to make sure we're clear on this -- when you analyzed his cognitive ability or his neurological functions, that's not the same thing as a psychiatric exam or psychological exam?
JACKSON: It is not. No. It’s a screening assessment for cognitive impairment.
Roughly five minutes after The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker inquired about the particular test that Trump took, CBS’s Margaret Brennan trampled on Ronald Reagan’s memory by hinting that he had Alzheimer’s while president and that it was missed. And thus, White House physicians might not be trustworthy:
"Doctor, when you say given the president's age, he is somewhere where President Reagan was at this time in his presidency. Can you say, given the scrutiny of what was overlooked at the time with President Reagan in terms of Alzheimer's and things he was then-known to suffer from at a later date, can you say whether the test that's you ran would exclude any of those things? And what the possibility of overlooking something like that would be? You know, how can you tell the American people that this time you're certain?
This left the calm Jackson perturbed.
She then continued ...
PORTNOY: What is your take of all the doctors and clinicians all across the country who have said, in this resident [of the White House that], they see symptoms of this, that and the other?
JACKSON: Symptoms in what way?
PORTNOY: Symptoms of dementia, symptoms of —
JACKSON: I would say that, you know, the American Psychiatric Association has said so, too. You know, I would think that, you know, the people shouldn't be making the assessments about the president unless they've had the opportunity to get to know him and examine him and, you know, in my opinion, that's just tabloid psychiatry and I just don’t — you know, I'm not going to address it or fall into responding to those questions or accusations.
Near the end, an unidentified reporter seemed to lobby for there to be (if there wasn’t already) a White House psychologist who should be around for the sake of Trump, while CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta fretted that the Montreal Cognitive Assessment was insufficient for spotting dementia or mental illnesses in someone “who’s already highly functioning.”