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A Response From Trump About New Book's Claim

Book says Pence was prepared to take over if president needed anesthesia
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2020 1:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – A new book by a New York Times reporter adds a twist to an unscheduled visit Trump made to a hospital last year. In Donald Trump v. The United States, Michael Schmidt writes about the president's surprise visit in November to Walter Reed Medical Center. At the time, the White House said it was all perfectly normal and that Trump was splitting his annual physical into two visits. But Schmidt writes this, per Axios:

  • "In reporting for this book, I learned that 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. Pence never assumed the powers of the presidency, and the reason for Trump’s trip to the doctor remains a mystery."

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  • The White House has not responded to a request for comment—but Trump has, and his tweeted response is generating even more interest in the claim. He wrote 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!"
  • To be clear, the book never mentions mini-strokes. Forbes sheds some light on the rumor, saying that false reports were circulating online that the book mentioned another visit involving a "cerebral event." Schmidt himself took to Twitter to clarify that the book never mentions that.
  • CNN also obtained a copy of the book, and the outlet notes that Trump's visit appeared to catch Walter Reed staffers by surprise because they received no advance notice. Typically, a presidential visit is announced well ahead of time so security protocols can be put into place.
  • "The White House account never added up," writes Mike Allen of Axios. "This reporting suggests there was more to it."
(Read more Mike Pence stories.)

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