President Donald Trump on Thursday said he "very recently" took a test at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center measuring his mental acuity and "aced" it, and he challenged Joe Biden to take the same test.
Trump volunteered the information to Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, and said his success on the test surprised his doctors as he continued his attempt to make a campaign issue of whether his presumptive Democratic opponent, Biden, was mentally fit.
"I actually took one when I -- very recently, when I -- when I was -- the radical left were saying, 'Is he all there? Is he all there?' And I proved I was all there, because I got -- I aced it. I aced the test," Trump, 74, said in his interview with Hannity.
"And he [Biden] should take the same exact test, a very standard test. I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors," Trump said. "And they were very surprised. They said, 'That's an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.' But he should take that same test."
Trump described taking the test after Hannity mentioned that Biden had said he had taken several cognitive tests.
The president insisted that Biden must have meant tests he took for the coronavirus and that his rival "couldn't pass" a cognitive test.
Aides to Trump did not respond to questions about what test he took, when he took it and whether they would make the results public. Over more than three years, the president has faced questions about his own health, including why he made a visit to Walter Reed in November that White House officials later claimed was to get a jump on his annual physical.
After his most recent examination, Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, who examined him, said, "The data indicates the president remains healthy."
But his summary was not the customary report Trump and other presidents have released immediately after an annual physical exam. Rather than one examination, the summary was based on an unknown number of medical appointments that included the visit to Walter Reed in November and another from a checkup conducted in April at the White House.
After his annual physical in 2018, the White House physician at the time, Dr. Ronny Jackson, said that the president had received a score of 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a test that hospitals including Walter Reed use to screen for "mild cognitive dysfunction," and that there was "no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes."
Jackson said then that Trump had asked to take the test.
Since Biden emerged as his opponent in November, the president and his advisers have tried to hammer home a message about whether, at age 77 and prone to gaffes, Biden is mentally capable of being president.
Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Biden, said the accusations were a product of Trump's standing in the polls. "If the Trump campaign believes the answer to their precipitously dropping support is to triple down on yet another smear that's backfired on them for over a year," he said, "then frankly, maybe it's not just Donald Trump who's missing something -- but also his campaign's 'strategists' who somehow still haven't grasped that the 'project, commit a self-own, then repeat' model is accelerating their free fall."