In normal times, Donald Trump’s Thursday night interview with Dr. Marc Siegel on Fox News would have been on the front page of The Onion. It was a parody of George Carlin’s monologue “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” This satirical version will henceforth be known as “The Five Words You Have to Say Over and Over on TV.” I understand Trump’s rendition of “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.” is great theater. But it should not have been the headline from Dr. Siegel’s audience with the king.
If we had a living, breathing press, someone would have picked up the fact Trump’s version of his experience in MoCA Land could not be true. Consider the following three excerpts of Trump’s rambling response to Dr. Siegel’s question about his cognitive acuity versus that of his opponent Joe Biden.
So the last time I was at the hospital, probably a year ago, a little less than a year ago, I asked the doctor, I said, is there some kind of a cognitive test that I could take? Because I’ve been hearing about it. Because I want to shut these people up.
I said to the doctor, it Dr. Ronny Jackson, I said, is there some kind of a test? An acuity test? And he said there actually is and he named it whatever it might be.
So I said, yes, I said, person, woman, man, camera, TV. Okay, that’s very good. If you get it in order, you get extra points. If you’re — okay, they’re always asking you other questions. Other questions, and then 10 minutes, 15, 20 minutes later they’d say, remember the first question, not the first, but the 10th question. Give us that again. Can you do that again? And you go person, woman, man, camera, TV.
A colleague at Miami University, a professor of business legal studies, always reminded me, “It you want to understand a situation, build a timeline.” Therefore, when it seemed something was suspicious in Trump’s narrative, I did just that.
July 25, 2013 – March 28, 2019
Dr. Ronny Jackson’s term as Physician to the President. (Source: Wikipedia)
March 28, 2019
Dr. Sean Patrick Conley becomes the Physician to the President following Jackson’s nomination to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Jackson’s nomination was withdrawn following revelations of his addiction to alcohol and over-prescribing drugs. (Source: Wikipedia)
November 18, 2019
President Donald Trump made a trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, as White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham put it, to “begin portions of his routine annual physical exam” on Saturday. But there are indications the trip wasn’t as routine as the White House would have the public believe. (Source: VOX.COM)
Do I even need to point out the telltale lie? If he took the test during a hospital visit “a little less than a year ago,” Ronny Johnson could not have been there. He had not been the President personal physician for eight months prior to the alleged date of the cognitive assessment.
But that’s just the most obvious falsehood. Anyone who has taken the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) knows the memory exercise involves five totally unrelated terms. For example, version 7.1 of the test, asks the the subject to repeat the following: Face. Velvet. Church. Daisy. Red. There is no way any version would include both the words “man” and “woman” or “camera” and “TV”.
You can always tell when Trump is lying because he is always hedging his bets. In this case he gives three different time lapses before he was asked to repeat the five words. First, 10. But in his stable genius mind that is not impressive enough. So it becomes 15, then 20. If Kayleigh had properly prepped him for the interview, he would have known the instructions clearly state, “Do recall after 5 minutes.” And of course, there is NO extra credit if you get all five. In Trump world, extra credit is a “figure” of his imagination.
During the interview with Dr. Siegel, the one thing on which Trump chose not to elaborate was the portion of the assessment when the subject is required to name three animals. If everything he did talk about was false, one can only imagine his response to that exercise. “Hmm. The second one is Mitt Romney. The third one, don’t tell me. He used to be in cigarette commercials wearing sunglasses. Does he vape now? And the first one? Of course. He’s always been a lion. Just like I do.”
Behold, the musings of a “stabled” genius. And I would say it’s way past time to put this horse out to pasture.
For what it’s worth.