Chris Wallace Interview Exposes Trump’s Mental Decline
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
President Trump’s difficulty recalling information, interpreting simple graphs, and remembering what Chris Wallace said to him just minutes before, wasn’t funny. Even though it all took place as he denied there was anything wrong with his mental competence
No one who has honestly been paying attention the last 3 ½ years hasn’t noticed that President Trump has experienced moments during his public speaking or during interviews where he hasn’t appeared to be mentally impaired or not in control of his faculties.
The latest interview that aired on Fox News Sunday by Chris Wallace was at best a train wreck in which President Trump looked desperate to parry away doubts about his mental competence in ways that made him look like the TV cartoon, Mr. Magoo.
If you re-watch the interview, you’ll notice Trump’s inability even to remember what Chris Wallace said just minutes before.
President Trump goes one-on-one with Chris Wallace | Full Interview
Here’s a transcript …
WALLACE: Let’s start with the surge of the coronavirus across the country in recent months. You still talk about it as, quote, “burning embers.” But I want to put up a chart that shows where we are with the illness over the last four months.
As you can see, we hit a peak here in April, 36,000 cases —
WALLACE: — a day.
TRUMP: Yes, cases.
WALLACE: Then — then it went down and now since June it has gone up more than double. One day this week 75,000 new cases, More than double —
TRUMP: Chris, that’s because we have great testing because we have the best testing in the world. If we didn’t test, you wouldn’t be able to show that chart. If we tested half as much, those numbers would be down.
WALLACE: But — but this isn’t burning embers, sir? This is a firestorm.
TRUMP: No, no. But I don’t say — I say flames, we’ll put out the flames. And we’ll put out in some cases just burning embers. We also have burning embers. We have embers, and we do have flames. Florida became more flame-like, but it’s — it’s going to be under control.
And, you know, it’s not just this country, it’s many countries. We don’t talk about it in the news. They don’t talk about Mexico and Brazil and still parts of Europe, which actually got hit sooner than us, so it’s a little ahead of us in that sense.
But you take a look, why don’t they talk about Mexico? Which is not helping us. And all I can say is thank God I built most of the wall because if I didn’t have the wall up, we would have a much bigger problem with Mexico.
WALLACE: But, sir, we have the seventh-highest mortality rate in the world. Our mortality rate is higher than Brazil, it’s higher than Russia, and the European Union has us on a travel ban.
TRUMP: Yeah. I think what we’ll do — well, we have them under travel ban, too, Chris. I closed them off. If you remember, I was the one that did the European Union very early.
But when you talk about mortality risks, I think it’s the opposite. I think we have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world.
WALLACE: It’s not true, sir. We had — we had 900 deaths on a single day – –
TRUMP: We will take a look —
WALLACE: — just this week —
TRUMP: Can you please get me the mortality rates?
TRUMP: Kayleigh’s right here.
I heard we have one of the lowest, maybe the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world.
Do you have the numbers, please? Because I heard we had the best mortality rate.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: (INAUDIBLE) Dr. Birx points out and this is —
TRUMP: Number one low mortality fatality rates.
I hope you show the scenario because it shows what fake news is all about – –
WALLACE: OK, OK. I don’t think I’m fake news but I will — we’ll put —
TRUMP: Yeah, you are —
WALLACE: — put our staff on —
TRUMP: You said we had the worst mortality rate in the world —
WALLACE: I said you had —
TRUMP: — and we have the best.
The interview goes especially bad during the 130-second exchange during the sequence of claims made by President Trump to Chris Wallace concerning mortality rates:
- Wallace: “We have the seventh-highest mortality rate in the world.”
- Trump: “We have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world.”
- Trump: “We have one of the lowest” mortality rates.
- Trump: “Maybe the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world.”
- Trump: “Number one low mortality fatality rates.” [here he shows Wallace a graph handed to him by his staff]
- Trump: “You said we had the worst mortality rate in the world . . .”
- Trump: “. . . and we have the best.”
Trump clearly is unable to keep straight where he thinks the U.S. mortality rate ranks. He goes back and forth between saying it’s “one of the lowest” and “the lowest.”
The exchange shows that President Trump is unable to remember what Wallace said just a two-plus minutes earlier. Chris Wallace clearly tells the President the U.S. has the “seventh-highest” mortality rate. Trump, however, asserts: “You said we had the worst mortality rate in the world.”
Wallace shows the audience the chart. This is it:
The President’s chart omits a number of relevant countries with lower mortality rates. Yet, even with that doctoring of the data and excluding many countries, it does not show the United States has the lowest mortality rate in the world. This clearly doctored charts show clearly two countries with lower mortality rates.
The inability to look directly at a line graph, and being unable to recognize that it’s not saying what the President is claiming could be a serious red flag that he has dementia, organic brain syndrome.
Many people watching the Chris Wallace interview of President on The Fox News Sunday shows jumped on the internet’s social media platforms, citing the same four examples of his struggle to keep things straight. Jonathan V. Last of the Bulwark.com cited three chilling warning signs. President Trump may in fact have dementia…
- Trump cannot remember what his briefing book told him about mortality rates, so he flips back and forth between “one of the lowest” and “the lowest” in the world.
- Trump cannot correctly interpret the simple graph handed to him by his own staff.
- Trump cannot recall what Wallace said to him less than two minutes prior.
The Cognitive Examination
In another segment of the interview President Trump looking seriously at Chris Wallace made a cynical comment about Joe Biden. Trump saying Biden “doesn’t even know he’s alive” and followed it be praising his mental health. President Trump then said he had taken a cognitive exam at Walter Reed Medical Center that was very hard and bragged to have “aced” the test so impressively that the doctors were “very surprised” and told him: “That’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did.”
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), developed in Canada in 1996, was intended to be a means of accurately detecting levels of cognitive impairment. The assessments in the test attempt to gauge areas of language, visuospatial abilities, memory and recall and abstract thinking, to give a representation of a person’s current cognitive ability. There was no reason without the president’s physician concern for Trump to take a cognitive examination without there being an issue.
There are 11 sections of the assessment, with a total of 30 possible points:
- (1 point) In “Alternating Trail Making,” a patient is told to draw a line from letters to numbers, in ascending order (1-A-2-B-3-C-4-D-5-E), without crossing any lines. Any error will warrant a score of zero.
- (1 point) The “Visuoconstructional Skills (Cube)” segment relays instructions to copy a drawing of a cube. If a three-dimensional drawing with relatively accurate lines is drawn, the point is awarded.
- (3 points) In the “Visuoconstructional Skills (Clock)” portion, a patient is asked to draw a clock. One point each is awarded for having a contour, having numbers, and having hands.
- (3 points) The “Naming” phase asks the patient to name each of three common animals, scoring one point for each correct answer.
- (0 points) The first “Memory” section involves no points, and simply involves reading a list of five words to be recalled later.
- (6 points) “Attention” requires a patient to successfully pay attention to verbal commands. Three smaller sections involve repeating digits, acknowledging spoken letters, and counting backward from 100 by sevens.
- (2 points) “Sentence Repetition” involves two spoken sentences that are repeated: one point is scored for each successful repetition.
- (1 point) “Verbal Fluency” tests a patient’s vocabulary; if 11 or more specific words are spoken (such as words starting with a certain letter), the patient is scored one point.
- (3 points) The “Abstraction” phase revolves around three pairs of words. A patient is awarded one point for each commonality he/she can identify.
- (5 points) “Delayed Recall” forces the recall of the terms read in “Memory,” approximately five minutes later.
- (5 points) “Orientation” tests a patient’s understanding of his current place and the current time.