Trump Has Another Gaffe While Defending Cognitive State

Former President Donald Trump appeared to briefly forget that Republican Congressman Ronny Jackson no longer serves as White House doctor while insisting that he is “a lot sharper than” GOP presidential rival Nikki Haley.

Trump, 77, has recently raised eyebrows over a series of blunders that have included slurring his words during campaign speeches, seemingly suggesting that former President Barack Obama is currently in office and most recently appearing to confuse Haley with former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Haley questioned Trump’s mental state during a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday, noting that he “got confused” by mistaking her for Pelosi multiple times during a speech on the previous day, when he said Haley was “in charge of security” at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021—a reference to an often-repeated falsehood claiming Pelosi was in charge of security.

While speaking to Fox News on Monday, Trump addressed Haley’s suggestion that his age was affecting cognition by challenging the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to compare cognitive tests. The former president then incorrectly claimed that Jackson was “now” serving as White House doctor, despite Jackson having left the role in 2018 and resigning as Trump’s adviser in 2019.

Donald Trump Cognitive Defense Gaffe Ronny Jackson
Former President Donald Trump is pictured during a campaign stop in Indianola, Iowa, on January 14, 2024. Trump defended his cognitive state while briefly claiming on Monday that Congressman Ronny Jackson was serving as White House doctor, a position he left in 2018.
Scott Olson

“I think I’m a lot sharper than her,” Trump said. “I would do this: I would sit down right now and take an aptitude test, and it would be my result against her result. And she’s not gonna win. Not going to even come close to winning.”

“In fact, when I heard the word ‘cognitive,’ you know, I’ve taken two of them [tests] now,” he continued. “I took one with Doc Ronny who is now, you know, a fantastic White House doctor.”

Trump then appeared to quickly realize his mistake, mentioning that Jackson was now in Congress, before briefly listing highlights from his former doctor’s career.

“And a fantastic, uh, congressman from Texas,” Trump said. “Admiral. The White House doctor, Jackson, Ronny Jackson. And he’s, uh, now a great congressman from Texas.”

“I took one [test] then and I took one recently,” he added. “I think the result was announced and it was, I aced it twice. I aced it.”

Newsweek reached out for comment to Trump’s office via email on Monday.

Trump, who has boasted about having “aced” cognitive tests on more than one occasion, has frequently defended his mental acuity in recent months and has claimed that he is being “sarcastic” by repeatedly confusing Obama with President Joe Biden.

Biden, who at 81 years old is frequently accused of being in cognitive decline by Trump and other Republicans, mocked the former president after he confused Haley with Pelosi.

“I don’t agree with Nikki Haley on everything, but we agree on this much: She is not Nancy Pelosi,” Biden wrote on X, formerly Twitter, while sharing a campaign video highlighting Trump’s confusion.