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White House doctor deems Trump mentally 'very sharp,' in 'excellent' health

by Ali Vitali /  / Updated 

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is in good physical and cognitive health following his first medical examination as president, Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, told reporters Tuesday, noting that the president earned perfect marks on a cognitive test that he himself had requested.

Jackson assessed that Trump's overall health was "excellent" and that he has "a lot of energy and a lot of stamina," but added that he would benefit from a better diet and an exercise regimen. The president is "more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part," his physician allowed.

Trump is 6 feet 3 inches tall and remains just shy of obese, at 239 pounds. The White House doctor would like to see Trump lose 10-15 pounds.

Jackson, a longtime presidential physician, also described Trump as "very sharp" and told reporters the president was "absolutely ... fit for duty," not just for the remainder of this term, but for another four years if he's re-elected.

READ: The results of Trump's physical

Jackson told reporters he had not seen a medical need to do a cognitive examination, but that Trump had insisted on one — the first time, according to Jackson, that such a test had been administered to a sitting president. "He came to me and he said is there something we can do, a test or some type of screening we can do, to test my cognitive ability," Jackson recounted.

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, on which Trump scored a perfect 30 out of 30, can help detect Alzheimer's disease as well as mild cognitive impairment, but is not the same as a psychological examination.

Trump's request came in the wake of the behind-the-scenes White House book "Fire and Fury," which spurred questions about Trump's mental state. Days before last week's exam, the president defended his mental ability in a series of tweets as a "very stable genius" who was "like, really smart."

In the book, sources close to the president and the administration had said that Trump was prone to repetition and that aides regularly questioned his mental stability. Jackson dismissed those claims Tuesday, telling reporters he had never known Trump to repeat himself.

Tuesday's readout of the president's health also revealed that he takes Propecia to prevent male pattern hair loss, as well as Crestor to lower his cholesterol.

Though the session detailing the results of Trump's first presidential physical was lengthy, stretching nearly an hour, Jackson was unable to answer whether Trump showed signs of any bone spurs when asked Tuesday. Trump received deferments from serving in the Vietnam War, including one that cited bone spurs in his heels in 1968.

Jackson previously said in a statement released on Friday, shortly after he examined Trump at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, that the president was in "excellent health" and that his physical exam had gone "exceptionally well."

Trump himself predicted last week that his exam would "go very well."

"It better go well," he quipped at the time. "Otherwise the stock market will not be happy."

Trump's previous, limited release of medical information put the then-70-year-old at 236 pounds, just shy of being obese. He had, according to his longtime physician Dr. Harold Bornstein, normal levels of cholesterol and blood sugar and was taking Crestor, as well as a low-dose aspirin. Bornstein deemed Trump "in excellent physical health" in the September 2016 medical letter.

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