Donald Trump’s severely slurred speech yesterday has become such a big story that’s captured the public’s imagination. Did his dentures merely slip, or was he suffering from something along the lines of a minor stroke? Why would a supposedly wealthy person be wearing dentures to begin with? The media asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about it today during a press briefing. Suffice it to say that her answer served to pour gasoline on the fire.
Huckabee Sanders responded by saying that Trump merely had a dry throat. No one believes that, but it’s the kind of answer the press secretary has to give if there’s something her boss is trying to cover up. Then she took things further by saying that Trump is scheduled to take a physical early next year. This is true; presidents have a regular schedule for these kinds of things. But why on earth did she decide to bring that up?
Now that the White House has mentioned Trump seeing a doctor in response to the question about his slurring, this story just became a much bigger spectacle. It lends credence to the claims of those who have theorized that Trump was slurring because he suffered a serious medical malady. It’s not the kind of thing that the White House press secretary should have been bringing up at all. She should have just generically denied there was anything wrong and moved on. She knows that, and she knew she would get this question today. She had time to prepare her answer. I’m trying to figure out if she just panicked in the moment and blurted out an oddly specific denial, or if she did it on purpose.
Some have theorized that Donald Trump was trying to fake a medical problem yesterday because he’s laying the groundwork for resigning for health reasons before his Russia scandal gets any worse. Was Sarah Huckabee Sanders purposely trying to further that by mentioning Trump taking a physical, because she wants the medical discussion to become a bigger story? Or did she merely screw up and give one of the worst answers in the history of the White House briefing room? Keep an eye on where Trump and his people take this next.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report