President Donald Trump on Wednesday boasted about his performance on a test of his cognitive abilities, leaving many of his critics angry and stupefied.
The video: Trump described the exam in extensive detail during an interview with Fox News medical contributor Marc Siegel that mostly focused on the U.S. coronavirus response.
- "The first questions are very easy, the last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It’s like, you’ll go, 'Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.' So they’d say, 'Could you repeat that.' So I said, 'Yeah. So it’s, 'Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV,'" Trump said.
- "It’s actually not that easy. But for me it was easy."
- Trump repeated the sequence of another time during the riff: "'Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.'"
- "I do it because I have, like, a good memory. Because I'm cognitively there," he explained.
Trump then challenged Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent in the 2020 election, to take the cognitive test "because something's going on."
- The president, 74, suggested the former vice president, 77, is too cognitively impaired to serve as commander-in-chief.
In a follow-up segment on "Fox and Friends" on Thursday, Siegel, an associate professor at New York University's medical school, described the president as having been "extremely sharp."
Trump previously recounted how he "aced" a "very hard" mental acuity test during an interview on Sunday with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and, before that, in a July 9 appearance on Fox News host Sean Hannity's show.
- In both cases, Trump also defied Biden to match his performance.
According to The Washington Post, Trump took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a 10-minute test designed to detect mild cognitive impairment, during his annual physical in 2018.
- He determined he "could weaponize his performance against Biden," the paper reported on Wednesday.
- Biden earlier this month said he has been "constantly tested" for cognitive decline, but his campaign has yet to release any results.
- Some have raised similar questions about Trump's psychological state.
Well, actually: Many left-leaning news outlets, journalists and commentators derided Trump's comments to Siegel even as they struggled to make sense of them.
The Post article quoted medical experts to make the case that "the cognitive exam is not what Trump seems to think it is — an indicator of IQ or a cudgel to be wielded against a political opponent like a debate challenge."
A New York Times report about Wednesday's interview asserted Trump had "tried to defend how own mental fitness for office."
MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin tweeted he could not "stop watching Trump on the cognitive test."
Can't stop watching Trump on the cognitive test:— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 23, 2020
"The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It’s like you’ll go 'person, woman, man, camera, TV.' So they say could you repeat that? I said, yeah. 'Person, woman, man, camera, TV.' Okay, that's very good." pic.twitter.com/Ggv42oGliu
The Times national correspondent Shane Goldmacher said on Twitter the president's words were "mesmerizing."
Trump’s description of a cognitive test is mesmerizing pic.twitter.com/Gx4o9HNaXR— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) July 23, 2020
Jon Cooper, a Biden organizer, joined a number of liberal commentators in interpreting Trump's comments as stupid.
If you watch this Trump interview and still plan to vote for this moron, there’s something seriously wrong with you. pic.twitter.com/FyKES6Nh9Z— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) July 23, 2020
But to Pro-Trump conservatives, the left seemed to have once again failed to get the joke.
He’s the best. He really does have a good sense of humor.— Crash (@crashcolucci) July 23, 2020
"Not an elite:" Roger Stone, a longtime friend whom Trump recently sprung from jail, once described the president as having a "regular guy" sense of humor that's enhanced by his "terrific memory."