Trump again defends cognitive abilities

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump once again defended his cognitive abilities in an interview on Wednesday by pointing — unprompted — to a test he took in 2018 that is designed to rule out mild cognitive impairment.

“Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV,” Trump said four times in an interview with Fox News, explaining that he was asked to recall and repeat a sequence of words at the beginning and end of the test. “If you get it in order, you get extra points.”

Trump raised the cognitive test after he was asked about his opponent former Vice President Joe Biden’s health, which Trump and his campaign have frequently called into question as the 2020 election approaches.

It was the latest attempt by the 74-year-old Trump to dismiss questions about his mental acuity while questioning 77-year-old Biden’s.

Trump raised the cognitive test in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier this month, claiming that he “very recently … aced” a cognitive test before raising it again in another interview with Fox News last week.

By the third interview with Fox News on Wednesday, it appeared Trump was referencing the test he took during a physical exam in 2018, which the White House disclosed at the time. But Trump was still fuzzy on the timeline, saying he asked to take the test “a little less than a year ago” before identifying the doctor with whom he had the conversation as Dr. Ronny Jackson, who stepped down as White House physician in the spring of 2018.

Trump claimed in back-to-back interviews that the last questions of the test get “much more difficult” and claimed doctors were impressed that he had gotten the answers correctly.

The 30-point Montreal Cognitive Assessment takes about 10 minutes and asks the patient to perform a simple batch of memory and mental tasks. Scoring highly on the test indicates the individual is not suffering from a mild cognitive dysfunction, but does not indicate that the person possesses above-average cognitive capabilities.

The comments reflected Trump’s ongoing obsession with portraying himself as someone of above-average intelligence, particularly as critics accuse Trump of being unfit to serve as President.

“They said, nobody gets it in order. It’s actually not that easy. But, for me, it was easy,” Trump said, referring to doctors. “They ask you to — they give you five names, and you have to repeat them. And that’s OK. If you repeat them out of order, it’s OK, but you know, it’s not as good. But then, when you go back, about 20, 25 minutes later, and they say, go back to that question — they don’t tell you this — go back to that question, and repeat them. Can you do it? And you go, person, woman, man, camera, TV.”

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