CNN’s Chris Cillizza fine with speculation about Trump’s health, criticized coverage of Clinton’s 2016 coughing fits

CNN’s Chris Cillizza feels speculation about President Trump’s health is relevant, but felt differently back in 2016 when then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had her own issues.

Cillizza on Thursday criticized the 74-year-old Trump’s “slow and halting decent” down a ramp following a recent West Point commencement speech, saying it is “fair game” to ask questions about the president’s well-being.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza feels speculation about President Trump’s health is relevant, but felt differently back in 2016 when then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton showed signs of health issues. (William B. Plowman/ Getty Images)

CNN’s Chris Cillizza feels speculation about President Trump’s health is relevant, but felt differently back in 2016 when then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton showed signs of health issues. (William B. Plowman/ Getty Images)

MEDIA FAST TRACK TRUMP'S SLOW WALK  

The clip of Trump carefully descending the ramp –­ as West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams walked alongside him –­ went viral and spurred tons of media coverage questioning his health.

The president on Saturday night pushed back against the speculation.

"The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery," Trump tweeted. "The last thing I was going to do is 'fall' for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!"

“It actually is a story, for a lot of reasons,” Cillizza said, listing Trump’s age, his mysterious medical history and his “obsession” with the health of his political opponents as examples of why Americans should ponder if the president is healthy.

The CNN pundit admitted he doesn’t personally think Trump’s cautious walk down the ramp is a sign of an undiagnosed illness, but insisted that it’s newsworthy anyway, largely because Trump himself tweeted about it.

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Cillizza’s current opinion is drastically different than one he held in 2016, however, when he penned a piece for The Washington Post headlined,” Can we just stop talking about Hillary Clinton’s health now?”

Also in 2016, Cillizza condemned the Drudge Report for reporting on a coughing fit Clinton had at a Labor Day rally. Cillizza pointed out that many conservatives speculated on what could be wrong with Clinton at the time.

“Here's the thing: This is a totally ridiculous issue –­ for lots of reasons –­ and one that if Trump or his Republican surrogates continue to focus on is a surefire loser in the fall,” Cillizza wrote a few weeks before Trump’s surprise Election Day victory.

While the 2020 version of Cillizza mocked a letter written by Trump’s doctor that claimed he was healthy, he previously pointed to a letter written by Clinton’s doctor as evidence she was fine.

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“To believe that something is seriously wrong with Clinton, you have to a) assume her doctor lied and b) that her coughing, which often happens when someone catches a cold or spends a lot of time speaking publicly, is a symptom of her deeper, hidden illness,” he wrote.

Former CNN digital producer Steve Krakauer, who now pens the media newsletter Fourth Watch, noticed the differing coverage.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.