White House doctor: Trump in good health, passed cognitive exam

Presidential physician Dr. Ronny Jackson answered reporters' questions at the White House daily press briefing.
22:10 | 01/16/18

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Transcript for White House doctor: Trump in good health, passed cognitive exam
Fit for duty eight remarkable white house press making. Featuring the White House position clean bill of health for president filed on ABC news political director Rick Klein welcome to the briefing room joined by Johnson Tutsis from ark teen throb and there won't have anything yeah its birth here on the here. Guys want and what it what we have all the numbers you're gonna get into all of this in a little bit but beneath that I. I don't know whether to grab a cheeseburgers on a treadmill because the president 71 years of age in remarkable health despite. They're real exercise despite a patent publicized by at a McDonald's on the plate. This is really something within hours where the question. The White House position that the threat of complete rejection. Michael Wolfe's book fire and fury which questioned the president's fitness for office. I think they were trying to put that to rest today but also an extraordinary gesture transparency from president. Who you know hasn't shown his tax returns. Has at least the White House visitor logs here is exceeding what his predecessor did and. Doctor Who treated President Obama certain ministries in there. Personally long history CA I ever given this much information out O and president only to state your feet every single questions that there were no. He shouldn't Richards saint. You've not seen the White House briefing. Months that has gone over an hour well into the evening. But you can see the doctor Jackson was not what we did not want one question. Unanswered hurting. It is. I'm. Let's bring our long time good friend longtime legendary White House correspondent Ann Compton of ABC news she covered. Seven president she saw many along briefing and joins us by the phone. And thanks for sticking with us through all of this give us your take this was just extraordinary scene for those in west wing. It was remarkable ever seen anything like it good news for the president and bad news out of this. The good news is that he's got lot fewer aches and pains that most of us who were approaching that age mark. The bad news two of them. One he's gonna have to start exercising that little room up on the third floor above they. President's bedroom there is an exercise room and doctor Jackson made it clear they're gonna outfit. Get some good equipment in there and end Donald Trump is gonna have to get out there are now and do some exercises that other bad. News for him is he is now set the bar so high on his health and transparency. That he's gonna have to keep this up. Every year is president. And. And you covered presidents that health questions were raised around and not just Ronald Reagan very famously. Early signs of dementia perhaps it at the end up what Bill Clinton has struggled with his weight. Or type how to do this moment compare to what you've covered in the past in terms of the information that was out there and in terms of how serious questions that were being raised millions. What you're right that. President's before have had critical problems Ronald Reagan's shot 62 days after he arrived he had colon cancer during his presidency. We remember people like gut George Bush had a fainting spell. Dick Cheney was vice president he had massive heart problems so health it when you get around whoever's leading the country. Is so critically important issue. What is interesting about this is the president. Did want not only the physical health out there I mean he even admitted. Through the doctors abuses Propecia on his hair and prevent hair of honest. That was one I don't think we've had that in the past president. But about what they've done here he also went to the doctor and said. Isn't there something you contest me Fortis show that I've got all my marvels. And the cognitive tests are hate the doctor made it clear the president asked him to administer it. It's not a psychiatric exam it's not an IQ test. What it does put to rest. In I bet in the president's mind that he at least is totally capable. Of handling the job of the presidency in the Oval Office day after day. And helpless fits the credentials of doctor Ronnie Jackson Hughes and navy rear admirable. You don't he's been in the White House west wing he's flown on Air Force One you know one. Odd. Tell us your impression of this doctor he is a pretty reputable guy. You know a military Doctor Who trained in the military has spent his entire career. Serving not only the hierarchy but now the commander in chief. It has no reason took twist the facts. And I think of the fact that they opened at the briefing. With a letter from doctor Richard Huff his predecessor who helped train Ronnie Jackson. Who saying that he's absolutely convinced that doctor Jackson. We'll be absolutely square and transparent so it that's pretty good legacy these are military doctors who serve the broader military. And the chain of command soap. Is credentials come off pretty well plus. Asked the doctor said a couple of times he sees that president every day they chat about other things he has a measure. Of the president's moods and abilities other data gave. Bassist probably more than anybody else. The building with the exception of the White House chief of staff. To. And and before we let you go. I want your sense of the the choreography of this imaginations around this we heard from sour Sanders gets up and says they answered every question. You get a sense strategically the White House was using this moment to try to reach but. Every one in everything this question something around president I'll tell. Absolutely. That exactly what is the doom and remember the very first line the doctor said what he he opened his report. He said this is tour provides. The public. With what they need to know about the president's health. What this will not do is calm the critics who find that Donald Trump's personality traits. And his B hate easier and his quirks those that are not health issues but our personality. Or or behavior problems are or it's you know we pick ups. Bob Dole will not go away and they are not addressed yet what is say medical exam. Aren't at Compton thanks for it really appreciate it. Thanks in this soft got. Yeah last year I am an absent movement and mother a couple of notes. Yeah guys went on living it doesn't change the subject it possibly others outward popular shut up and not talking about that's worth. It means that we're talking about these these medical lovers and ties. This is remarkable to you. You go through its seventy when your years old to a 39 count people point out. Does the pound or two three pounds my campaign it usually actors report from the campaign and we learned that he's got these plant illicitly diet and exercise is that is that terrific numbers don't worry about it lethal alcoholic I. Look at numbers it's good you're good with cholesterol blood pressure these things his vision 2030 distressed as they said. Above average exercise capacity the guy doesn't exercise borderline obese borderline numbers very rosy picture. Are right up their ego way. At risk of stroke factory conceded there at the end zone perfect health. But he. DOC pilfered some one is each in the fall among. Above average these excellent category which is remarkable I mean you know how many people you were saying earlier do we know any and mentioned as well that we know later life. I'm some saying of this school that's not working his beat. So check with doctor Jennifer asked and it's just a few minutes to talk about this but in the meantime Mary Bruce. Ought Capitol Hill the shutdown is moving we're just a couple of days away. An interest in testimony on Capitol Hill today that he where does your ticker girl we closer to the potential shut down or little to further away at its that I. I want on your breath right I mean it seems that right now there is paying and decent probability that we could be heading toward the shut down later this week there's plenty of optimism here. But that is preventable but it's not something that that have to come to peace. But look both parties are also digging near it has been a wild. Morning up here on Capitol Hill to say the very least and negotiators on both sides of the aisle look here's where things stand Republicans. In space bit that they can get this done that there's no need to shut down the government that if they do that there'll be plenty of blame to go around on both sides. But remember Democrats have long insisted that any. Must pass spending bill also has to include some fake some protections for dreamers and after the way that these negotiations have been blown up. By the president's own comments. They feel that they have the upper hand here now. To say the very least in fact one republic air one democratic senator told us just a few hours ago that it that he thinks it's more likely than not. That we are headed toward the shut down just as Republicans are saying that they're gonna try and pass some kind of short term resolution near to kick this can further down the road. And Mary just. Hartley you lose the two the drama that was on Capitol Hill today obviously. A lot of back important hearing we're sort DHS secretary here's Nielsen. Amin when her first appearance is. Lot of contention between her and Dick Durbin the only Democrat there was an act contentious Oval Office meeting last week we install Lindsey Graham at one point an ally. The president just completely lose his cool Harry. Yet shut down isn't the only F word flying around here is that this morning like there's been a lot of discussion in this hearing today. About what the president did and did not say you have the DHS secretary was also in that room. Struggling a little bit with some of the specifics she said look the president used some tough language well what does that mean what is what is in a tough words what does that mean. And she was pushed by Dick Durbin even further about that and she said look I remember a specific word. But of course this goes way beyond what boulder word the president may have used to refer. To immigrants coming from some African countries. But the broader context years that sources tell us the president suggested he would prefer that immigrants come from places like Norway to some of these other countries. She tried to push back against bad explaining that the president was merely commenting on his desire for a merit based sits down. It met the day before. With Norwegian officials who had informed him in a sharing with him how how Norwegians work very hard. But that's what he was getting at but this thing brutal bruising hearing and remembered a part of this. You have these bipartisan senators who are trying to make some headway here and you're both of them. Being extremely frustrated with the fact that early last week exactly one week ago today. The president seemed to be. Suggesting that he could get on board with a bipartisan deal that he wanted. Bill of love as he said and that when they thought they'd put together that deal last Thursday that brought that deal to the president while they were very surprised when he arrived at the White House by the president's. Of these more conservative. More hard line immigration. Conservatives. Members of congress and they were in the room and this whole deal blew up so you had both Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin thank what does that got where's the Tuesday truck. That we saw them said he wanted a bipartisan deal. And we rested and both of them on what they think changed here and both Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham pointed a finger squarely at whitehouse staff. Suggesting Stephen Miller suggesting John Kelly we're behind the change in tune saying the president was getting very bad advice him of being misled. By his own staff. Are extraordinary RC wow presidential conversation and government last night he had an administration official congressional hearing. Actually willing to talk about what was said in the Oval Office and it was and it has this interview was also with a little less than. And it was actually Parse or I don't know who plays and that's. There and you're you're. Watching this very both the text of the listen to. This exchange between Dick Durbin. And with unions. What was that strongly which. That seat strong language there was. I apologies I don't remember specific word what I was struck with frankly is Hampshire you where is well is just general. Profanity that was used in the room by almost everyone. You hear me use profanity to assert neither deny your senator Graham use profanity. I I teach your tough language for senator and answer he recalled that the strong language used repeated exactly with them. Bipartisan senators who are trying to make some headway here and you were both of them. Being extremely frustrated with the fact that early last week exactly one week ago today. The president seemed to be. Suggesting that he could get on board with a bipartisan deal that he wanted. Bill of love as he sat and that when they thought they put together that deal last Thursday that brought that deal to the president while they were very surprised when he arrived at the White House by the president's. Of these more conservative. More hard line immigration. Conservatives. Members of congress and they were in the room and this whole deal blew up so you had both Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin thank what does that got where's the Tuesday truck. That we saw who said he wanted a bipartisan deal. And we rested and both of them on what they think changed here and both Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham pointed a finger squarely at whitehouse staff. Suggesting Steven Miller suggesting John Kelly we're behind the changing tunes saying the president was getting very bad advice and was being misled. By his own staff. Are extraordinary RC wow presidential conversation that I government last time he had an administration official congressional hearing. Actually willing to talk about what was said in the Oval Office and it was. And it says this interview was also little hesitant. And it was actually parts down or I don't know please and that's not good. I'm hearing you you were watching this very well if that's actually the listened to this exchange between Dick Durbin. And opinions. What was that strongly which. Let's seat strong language there was. I apologies I don't remember specific word what I was struck with frankly is Hampshire you Wear as well is just that it general. Profanity that was used in the room by almost everyone. You hear me use profanity to assert neither deny your senator Graham use profanity. I I teach your tough language for senator Graham essar he recalled that the strong language used repeated exactly what. President it's. Prior to that. I remember as specific cuts birds being used by afraid of members I'm. I'm not gonna ask you to say those words here. And defenses senator Graham had strong words repeated exactly the word choose from the president which you can remember. And it's a lot of cut pop ups cost workers and all the rest. Our thanks to merit summit capital go get back to eat after another extraordinary day up there yet where she turned back to its customers paid medical report is released in the white house press briefing room. All of us think it sounds good but none of us are doctors happy capped one year Archie helping medical editor doctor Jennifer Ashton. He's joining us in New York doctor Jan walk us through this. You know this all sounds pretty good to us doctor Jackson out there saying presents an excellent help you heard the numbers with your today. You know to start with I listened to the ends higher press conference as many of us did. And I was incredibly impressed with doctor Ronnie Jackson. The top of his presentation was. Direct you know hard core medical clinical language. He would be most comprehensive print presidential physical report. That I have seen and I reviewed in preparation of today. All of president Obama's physicals and President Bush is physical reports as well this was the most thorough in comprehensive. In terms of the information that was presented. And I think the most important thing to start off with is that doctor Jackson made it very very clear. That what was performed on president trump was referred to as age appropriate evidence based screening. That was tailored to the individual patient and his unique job. Responsibilities. And that's exactly what we saw. Most notably because of his age because the number one killer of American men and women is cardiovascular disease. He had an incredibly thorough cardiovascular assessment. Which not only gave us a window into his current and presents stayed. He allowed his medical team to predict his future risk of a cardiac event which was not released but that's a calculation tool. That I'll be doing as soon as they get off the set here with the numbers that have been released and more importantly it also allowed us to look back in time to see based on the results. Of his act go which is an ultrasound of the heart. And his EKG if the president had had any silent heart attack in the past which he had not. However on further questioning. From the press corps it was revealed that the president has with doctor Jackson refers to as non clinical car and Arie atherosclerosis. Which just means. He has a little hardening of his coronary arteries which again. We would expect in any man at his age. When I was actually surprised by is given the fact that his body mass index is literally hovering at the obese criteria. That he doesn't have more coronary disease. So I think wit let's take home four for anyone listening as they can take it to their own state of health is. Late style is important but it is not the whole determining your genetics do play a massive role. But at in medicine we never give up on trying to optimize. And maximize someone's behavioral habits. Yet after Jackson really credited. The president's genetics Witten explains that in this. But doctors are also want to ask you about one of the test that. Was performed on president front that isn't part of the guidelines it wasn't even recommended by doctor that was the deep pocketed eggs and the Montreal carpet. It's right Joaquin tell us about what that test is and how we've been performed. Yet what that's a great question because so many people were obviously looking looking for that type of information asking about it. There's a couple things in the assessment of any general person what you're seeing here is some of the things that are used in this test the Montreal assessment exam it's about a ten minute test. And it really goes through. People's assessment their level of attention. Their language. Where we asked them to do some basic calculations. We asked them to recall some words and and we asked them again later that has their short term memory recall. And it is a screening tests. For cognitive function but I also want to mention is that in any complete and comprehensive physical examination of any patient. In medicine. We are taught to to observe basically two systems they're psychiatric system and they're Nora logic system. So a lot of what a physician or or medical professionals can tell. Doesn't have to be inquired or formally tested so to speak it's just observed and you heard doctor Jackson making numerous comments about that. That he does see the president on a near daily basis and so he he considered himself to be in very appropriate. An adequate position to be able to assess his his daily functioning from both us cognitive neurological and psychiatric standpoint I'd. If it should be noted that a formal psychiatric evaluation. IA board certified psychiatrist was not done today nor was it indicated. It according to doctor Jackson and nor has it ever been part of any past presidential. Physical in terms of presidents Obama and bush. Doctor question we've established Dr. Jackson's credentials and they're hackable went and having treated a present ominously capacity up to people would question that I was struck by a couple of things this briefing and I want your thoughts on this. Liquids and almost all the trump. The praising of the genetics at one point saying he knew he could live to be 200 years old you don't you don't really know the speculation. About how while how much he sleeps. I hate talking about it. The ability to handle stressed that strike you is maybe beyond what a physician would be able to observe and just in to that into the realm of outright flattery of speculation. You know about these speculation first for me day answer that I will tell you that. And I I still practice I still have my own patients and in the patients that I've known for let's say a year or roughly a year which is roughly the amount of time that doctor Jackson as a as an on president trump. You you can make subjective. And objective assessments about an individual and a patient. You know it it's it may may interest you know that in medicine. Mean when we present a patient we follow what's called east so format SO AT and that's stands for subjective objective. Assessments. And then your plan and under the assessment you use both the objective as well as your clinical knowledge and judgment. And part of that can be via radicals and you heard doctor Jackson. Take questions about you know what do you think or look down into the future and it's important to realize that in medicine we based that forecast. On those things on at and what we have objectively but also on our clinical judgment at an experience. Jennifer Ashton New York thank you very much debris had always appreciated that you think that again. Do it for us guys got us a long. And her comeback with your birth. Any sort of I don't have over your right our mind that wire again thank you techno. He staff briefing tomorrow capital. To our.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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