President Donald Trump had a normal score on a cognitive exam and is in excellent health, although he could benefit from a lower-fat diet and more exercise, the White House physician said Tuesday.
"In summary, the president's overall health is excellent," Navy Rear Adm. Dr. Ronny Jackson, Trump's military physician, said during a 50-minute briefing.
"He continues to enjoy the significant long-term cardiac and overall health benefits that come from a lifetime of abstinence from tobacco and alcohol."
Jackson said Trump had "encouraged" him to address all questions, including the president's cognitive health — an exam the doctor said was a first for any commander-in-chief.
"As far as I know, no president has had a cognitive assessment as president of the United States," he said. "This is the very first time it's ever happened."
"I have no concerns about his cognitive ability or his neurological function, so I was not going to do a cognitive exam; I had no intention," Jackson added. "The reason we did it is plain and simple, because the president asked me to do it."
"He specifically told me, 'I want you to get out there and talk to them, and I want you to answer every single question they have,'" Jackson added. "He called [press secretary] Sarah [Huckabee Sanders] and said 'I don't want you to pull him off and leave him until he's ready to come off.' . . . because the president wants me up here."
Jackson said Trump scored a "30 out of 30" on the cognitive exam.
"There's no indication whatsoever that he has any cognitive issues," he said. "You know, on a day-to-day basis like I said before, it's been my experience that the president is very sharp and . . . he's very articulate when he speaks to me. I have never known him to repeat himself around me. He says what he has to say and speaks his mind. . . . I found no reason whatsoever to think that the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought process."
He also stressed Trump's diet and exercise will be addressed in the upcoming year, adding "he asked me to get the nutritionist involved, which has given me permission to become involved in that, and I will," he said.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 239-pound president is one pound away from being considered obese under a scale used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Jackson also reported Trump "doesn't sleep much," adding he would estimate he sleep 4-5 hours a night.
"I think he's probably been that way his whole life," Jackson said. "Probably one of the reasons why he's been successful . . . he's one of those people that doesn't require a lot of sleep."
Trump takes few medications — a low dose of Aspirin and Crestor, a cream for rosacea, and a multivitamin. Jackson said he will prescribe a higher level of Crestor for Trump.
Jackson also acknowledged the president takes Propecia, a prescription medicine meant to address male hair loss.
And he sought to put to bed some questions raised by the media over the president's slurring his words in one recent public appearance in which he took a break to drink water.
Jackson said he had given the over-the-counter drug Sudafed to the president for congestion, which gave him dry mouth.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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