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Trump's mysterious 2019 visit to Walter Reed was just to get a colonoscopy, former aide suggests in book

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/28/2021 gpanetta@businessinsider.com (Grace Panetta)
President Donald Trump returns from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Reuters © Reuters President Donald Trump returns from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Reuters
  • Former White House aide Stephanie Grisham sheds new light on Trump's mysterious 2019 Walter Reed visit.
  • Grisham suggests in a forthcoming book that it was for a routine colonoscopy.
  • Trump, she says, thought revealing the procedure would betray weakness.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former President Donald Trump's mysterious 2019 visit to Walter Reed medical center was just to get a colonoscopy, former press secretary Stephanie Grisham suggests in her forthcoming memoir, according to the Washington Post and The New York Times.

Trump puzzled reporters and observers by giving few details about the unscheduled trip and claiming the November 2019 visit was for the first part of a regular annual check-up, which is usually done in just one appointment.

Grisham implied it was just a routine colonoscopy, according to the Post, describing the visit as being for "a very common procedure" for which "a patient is sometimes put under" - and said that former President George W. Bush had one as president.

But Trump, Grisham wrote, was so reluctant to hand over powers of the presidency to Vice President Mike Pence that he underwent the procedure without anesthesia, per The Times, with Grisham saying that Trump didn't want to be "the butt of a joke" of TV comedians.

Grisham said that the experience could have been an opportunity for Trump to get the message out about the importance of routine colonoscopies.

"But as with covid, he was too wrapped up in his own ego and his own delusions about his invincibility," she wrote, according to the Post.

Grisham's tell-all book, "I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw in The Trump White House," is set to be released on October 5.

Grisham served as the first lady's communications director, and then as White House press secretary for nine months from July 2019 to April 2020, a time during which she never once briefed the press.

Spokespeople for Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump have sought to discredit the book and denounced Grisham as a "disgruntled" former employee.

"It is an attempt to redeem herself after a poor performance as press secretary, failed personal relationships, and unprofessional behavior in the White House," Melania Trump's office said in a previous statement about an excerpt published in Politico. "Through mistruth and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump."

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