Rumors and speculation foisted by media outlets and users on social media about President Donald Trump’s health are a “false narrative,” he said in an interview on Friday morning.
His recent, unannounced visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland was a routine part of his physical, Trump told Fox News. The trip last Saturday was not on his public schedule released ahead of time.
But, “on the way back, I’m hearing rumors that I’m in the hospital,” Trump said.
He added: “Then I’m hearing rumors that I had chest pains. Then I’m hearing rumors that I had a massive heart attack. Then I’m hearing rumors that I’m not coming back … I’m staying at Walter Reed overnight and maybe for a long time.”
Trump said that the rumors prompted his wife, first lady Melania Trump, who heard the news while the president was away, to worry and question whether he was in good health.
The speculation about his health was propagated by CNN and “that stupid MSNBC, which is just as bad,” said the president.
“They started a false narrative,” he said. “It’s so disgusting what they do because they knew it wasn’t true, and they went with it.”
Three medical professionals, he said, called up news outlets and said the speculation wasn’t true.
“They’re bad people. It’s fake, corrupt news,” Trump remarked.
Press secretary Stephanie Grisham handed a readout of Trump’s medical visit and told reporters that he will be busy in 2020. Over the weekend, after the speculation mounted, she slammed media outlets for their coverage.
“Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, D.C.,” she told reporters. On Twitter, she said the health rumors are “wholly irresponsible & dangerous for the country.“
Dr. Sean P. Conley, physician to the president, said the visit was routine and refuted speculation that Trump suffered from chest pain or another serious issue before the Walter Reed visit.
Trump “did not undergo any specialized neurologic or cardiac evaluations,” Conley wrote in the report, adding would continue to check on the president, and would provide a “more comprehensive examination after the New Year.“
“Primary preventative medical care is something occurs continuously throughout the year,” he added,” it is not just a single annual event.”
In the memo, Conley said that Trump took a brief tour of the medical center and met with hospital staff. He also visited the family of a soldier who was having surgery before going back to the White House.