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Trump Said In A Fox News Interview That He Can Memorize Five Words In Order

"It's actually not that easy. But, for me, it was easy," Trump said of the test, which is used in diagnosing Alzheimer's.

Posted on July 23, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. ET

Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

President Donald Trump once again bragged about his supposed mental fitness on Wednesday, citing his completion of a "not that easy" cognitive test that is primarily used to diagnose dementia.

In a bizarre moment during a Fox News interview with network medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel, Trump repeatedly cited a memory phrase he invented on the spot — "person, woman, man, camera, TV" — as part of a discussion about the Montreal Cognitive Assessment he said he had taken during a recent routine checkup at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

"It's like, you will go, 'person, woman, man, camera, TV,'" Trump said. "So they say, 'Could you repeat that?' So I said, 'Yeah. So it's person, woman, man, camera, TV.'"

Can't stop watching Trump on the cognitive test: "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."

As he seeks to question the mental acuity of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump has spoken frequently about his cognitive test in recent weeks, telling Fox News earlier this month that doctors were "surprised" at his "unbelievable" performance. In an interview with Chris Wallace that aired over the weekend, Trump bristled at the suggestion by the conservative network's anchor that the test was not that difficult. "You couldn't answer many of the questions," Trump insisted.

But the test Trump took was not an intelligence test. The 30/30 score he got on it two years ago is considered "normal," former White House physician Ronny Jackson, now a Republican congressional candidate in Texas, said at a January 2018 press briefing. Jackson said Trump had taken the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which "screens for any type of cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s."

In his interview Wednesday, Trump insisted the test starts off "very easy" and then gets "much more difficult."

He was asked to repeat the memory sequence again a few minutes later, he said, noting that he got "extra points" for saying it again in the correct order.

"They said, 'Nobody gets it in order,'" Trump said. "It's actually not that easy. But for me it was easy."

"They say, 'That's amazing,'" he added. "'How did you do that?'"

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / Via parkinsons.va.gov

A portion of the cognitive test similar to the one Trump is said to have taken.

Trump said the test proves he is "cognitively there" — a claim he has been staking much of his presidential campaign on, while pushing the idea that Biden may be on the mental decline — and challenged Biden to take the test as well.

"Now, Joe should take that test, because something's going on," he said. "And I say this with respect. I mean, it's going to probably happen to all of us, right?"

During Wallace's interview with Trump, the anchor said he took the test after hearing Trump passed it.

"Well, it's not the hardest test," Wallace said. "They have a picture, and it says, 'What's that?' And it's an elephant."

Chris Wallace to Trump on Trump's cognitive test: "Well, it's not the hardest test. It shows a picture and it says, 'what's that'. And it's an elephant."

"No, no, no, you see, that's all misrepresentation," Trump replied. "Because yes, the first few questions are easy, but I'll bet you couldn't even answer the last five questions."

"Well, one of them was count back from 100 by seven," Wallace said. "93..."

Trump said he would "guarantee you that Joe Biden could not answer those questions."

Biden has pushed back on suggestions of his cognitive decline, saying at a June 30 press conference that he has "been tested, and I'm constantly tested."

"I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I'm running against," Biden said.

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