Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Don't Trust; Verify



It's as if Stephanie Grisham, while press secretary to President Donald J. Trump for eight months, had held a single news conference. Or as if Trump had not made 30,573 false or misleading claims during his presidency.

And yet we read that, addressing Trump's sudden and mysterious trip to Walter Reed Army Hospital in November, 2019, Stephanie Grisham in her recently released book "I'll Take Your Questions Now"

does not use the term colonoscopy but heavily implies that's what the trip was for. She says Trump's hospital visit, which stirred weeks-long speculation about his health was a "very common procedure," during which "a patient is put under." She also writes that former President George W. Bush had a similar procedure while in office; Bush had multiple colonoscopies during his time in office. Grisham writes Trump did not want then-Vice President Mike Pence to be in power while he was sedated, which was part of the reason he kept his visit private. He also "did not want to be the butt of a joke" on late-night television, writes Grisham.

The episode is just one of several behind-the-scenes revelations by Grisham, who was one of Trump's longest-serving senior staffers and witness to several headline-making moments of the Trump administration.



Revelations.  Similarly, the New York Daily News, a newspaper with a liberal editorial bent, believes

 Former White House Press Secretary Grisham has revealed why the media wasn’t made aware that former President Trump was making an under the radar trip to Walter Reed Medical Center in 2019: he didn’t need anyone else up his derrière that day.

Has revealed.. The willingness of the media, reflected in the video below of CNN's Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo, and Kate Bennett, to take Grisham's explanation at face value contrasts sharply with the CNN report of November 17, 2019, which began

President Donald Trump’s visit to Walter Reed on Saturday did not follow the protocol of a routine presidential medical exam, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Medical staff at Walter Reed did not get a staff-wide notice about a presidential visit to the medical center in Bethesda, Maryland, ahead of Trump’s arrival, according to that source.

Typically, Walter Reed’s medical staff would get a general notice about a “VIP” visit to the medical center ahead of a presidential visit, notifying them of certain closures at the facility. That did not happen this time, indicating the visit was a non-routine visit and scheduled last minute.

The source said it was possible a small group of doctors involved in Trump’s medical exams were notified before Trump arrived at Walter Reed, but said all medical staff at Walter Reed would typically be aware if the President was arriving for a routine medical exam.

His two previous physical exams in office were announced ahead of time by the White House and noted on his daily public schedule, but a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN Saturday that the President’s unannounced trip to the medical center was not even on the President’s internal schedule as of Saturday morning.

The President’s motorcade drove to the medical center unannounced, with reporters under direction not to report his movement until they arrived Saturday at Walter Reed. Trump typically takes the Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed, but on Saturday’s clear-skied day, the President opted for the motorcade.

A separate source familiar with the situation described Trump’s visit as “abnormal,” but added that Trump, 73, appeared to be in good health late Friday.

Grisham now says that the President didn't come clean at the time because he didn't want to be "the butt of a joke" for late-night comedians and refused anesthesia so he wouldn't have to turn his office temporarily over to Vice President Pence.

Admittedly, if anyone were so foolish, self-centered, and dishonest, that would be Donald Trump. Nonetheless, the procedure (whatever it was) took place on a Saturday, which suggests it was not routine. Moreover, recall

The source said it was possible a small group of doctors involved in Trump’s medical exams were notified before Trump arrived at Walter Reed, but said all medical staff at Walter Reed would typically be aware if the President was arriving for a routine medical exam.

His two previous physical exams in office were announced ahead of time by the White House and noted on his daily public schedule, but a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN Saturday that the President’s unannounced trip to the medical center was not even on the President’s internal schedule as of Saturday morning.

That shouldn't sound routine to reputable news organizations. Nevertheless, they have treated Grisham's claims as "revelations," taking as face value a claim made by a press secretary to Donald J. Trump.

If you assume, "you make an ass out of you and me" applies here.  Instead of assuming that- of all people- a former press secretary to the greatest liar in American history is telling the truth, the media should make an actual attempt at verifying Grisham's story.  As a bonus, we might gain an insight into whether her other claims are credible.

 


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