White House Physician: Trump’s Cognitive Exam Came Back “Normal”

“The president did exceedingly well on it.”

President Donald Trump did “exceedingly well” on a cognitive examination during his annual physical, White House physician Admiral Ronny Jackson said Tuesday. The president, Jackson declared during a White House press briefing, is in “excellent health.”

Jackson told reporters during a press briefing that the cognitive exams were conducted at Trump’s request and that he had no concerns over the president’s mental abilities. 

“I was not going to do a cognitive exam—I had no intention of doing one,” Jackson said. “The reason that we did the cognitive assessment is, plain and simple, because the president asked me to do it.” 

“The president did exceedingly well on it,” he added.

Questions over the president’s mental fitness have surfaced in recent weeks, particularly with the release of Michael Wolff’s controversial book Fire and Fury, which detailed a number of alarming incidents involving Trump during his first year in office. The book’s publication prompted Trump to publicly defend his competence, even taking to Twitter to brand himself a “very stable genius.”

Among other details, Jackson’s summary included the president’s height and weight—75 inches and 239 pounds. He added that the president takes Crestor to help reduce his cholesterol levels, Propecia for male pattern baldness, and Soolantra for rosacea. 

Jackson told reporters that he recommends Trump lose 10-to-15 pounds—a goal he said could be achieved with a lower intake of fat and carbohydrates. “He’s more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we’re going to do both,” Jackson said.

Trump’s physical health has drawn scrutiny for some time. His diet reportedly includes a steady flow of McDonald’s offerings, red and pink Starbursts, and up to 12 Diet Cokes each day. 

But as Jackson indicated Tuesday, we’re unlikely to see a sudden flurry of exercise coming from the Oval Office. Trump has historically applied his penchant for scientific quackery to exercise regimens. “Trump believed the human body was like a battery, with a finite amount of energy, which exercise only depleted,” according to a 2016 book by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher of the Washington Post. “So he didn’t work out.”


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.