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White House faces questions about Trump's health after slurred words

The White House thinks questions about Donald Trump's health are "ridiculous." They're really not.
Image: US President Donald J. Trump hosts former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
epa06257124 US President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks to members of the news media while hosting former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (not pictured)...

We've talked a couple of times this week about the dangerous consequences surrounding Donald Trump's new policy toward Israel, which the president announced at a White House event on Wednesday. But as Rachel noted on last night's show, there are some lingering questions not only about what he said, but also about how he said it.

There was clearly something off about the way in which Trump spoke at the event, and while I'm not going to speculate about what may have been the cause for the president's slurred speech, his apparent difficulties did not go unnoticed.

President Donald Trump will have a physical exam early next year and will make the results public, the White House said Thursday, a day after the president appeared to slur his words in a public address.Near the end of his policy remarks Wednesday on Israel, Trump, 71, began having difficulty with words that included the letter "s," voicing some of them as "sh." He ended by saying what sounded like "and God bless the United Shtesh."

At the very end of yesterday's briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to questions about Trump's difficulties in speaking by saying, "I know that there were a lot of questions on that -- frankly, pretty ridiculous questions. The president's throat was dry. Nothing more than that."

But that only fueled additional conversation about the subject. I can think of plenty of times in which I've had a dry throat, but it's never caused me to struggle with the letter "s."

What's more, Sanders' pushback notwithstanding, there's nothing "ridiculous" about the questions. On his inauguration day, Trump was already the oldest elected president in American history; the issue wasn't dealt with especially well during the campaign; there have been a variety of questions raised about his stability throughout his first year in office; and during important remarks on foreign policy this week, he seemed to have difficulty saying the phrase "United States."

It's hardly outrageous to think some will have questions about Trump's health given the circumstances. Indeed, Trump himself invested an enormous amount of time last year questioning Hillary Clinton's health, so it's not as if he can plausibly say this is an irrelevant issue that's somehow off-limits.

For what it's worth, Sanders added that Trump will have a routine medical exam "early next year" at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center -- where most modern presidents have received care -- and the results "will be released by the doctor following that taking place."

Watch this space.