CNN Hosts Flub Mental Acuity Test After Mocking Trump for Saying It’s Hard

After mocking President Donald Trump for boasting about his performance on a cognitive test, CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon called into question their own mental acuity by flubbing a simple question on the assessment.

The moment: The self-own occurred on Wednesday during the handoff between their respective shows, "Cuomo Primetime" and "CNN Tonight."

  • The two men took the opportunity to joke about Trump's braggadocios recollection during a Fox News interview earlier in the day of how he had once "aced" the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
  • "What are the animal shapes?" asked Cuomo as Lemon held up a copy of the test to display a drawing of a rhinoceros and other animals.
  • "Well, it's a lion, a hippopotamus and a camel," Lemon said.
  • Cuomo went on to rib Lemon for apparently mistaking the hippopotamus for a rhinoceros, but he then seemed to get confused himself, bringing up a theretofore unmentioned elephant.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson gleefully skewered the segment on his show on Thursday, saying, "Mr. Lemon combines almost supernatural slowness with remarkable self-confidence."

A very stable genius: Trump has repeatedly cited his mastery of the cognitive test on Fox News in what is reportedly a calculated strategy to "weaponize his performance against [Joe] Biden."

  • Before Wednesday's interview with medical contributor Marc Siegel, Trump touted his success on the assessment during a July 19 sit-down with host Chris Wallace and during a July 9 appearance on host Sean Hannity’s show.
  • In each case, Trump has described the test as difficult and challenged Biden, his Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential race, to match his performance.

Despite widespread mockery of Trump's comments in the media, a recent focus group of Michigan swing voters conducted last week by Axios indicated the president's plan may be working.

  • Participants questioned Biden’s ability to lead the country, calling him a "puppet" who’s not "mentally capable of being president."
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