Trump goes on rant defending ramp walk after questions raised about president's health

Several minutes of Tulsa rally spent explaining West Point appearance

Alex Woodward
New York
Sunday 21 June 2020 02:51 BST
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Trump appears to have trouble walking down ramp at West Point ceremony

Donald Trump has given an extended explanation of his awkward walk down a ramp at West Point military academy and his difficulty drinking a glass of water, acknowledging that they gave rise to speculation about his health.

After making a number of false claims and railing against the "radical left" and media, he spent several minutes defending his slow, deliberate walk on a ramp following a commencement address at the United State Military Academy last week.

The president, who routinely scrutinises his public appearance, has spent several days defending his walk after a critical week amid rising coronavirus infections and continued unrest and demonstrations against police killings ahead of his campaign's anticipated return to rallies, which he hasn't held since 2 March.

Donald Trump points to his shoe at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma during a lengthy explanation of why he walked so carefully on a ramp at West Point military academy a week earlier (Getty Images)

He told the Wall Street Journal, unprompted, that the ramp was "like an ice skating rink" and that he wore leather-soled shoes, which made the ramp slippery.

At his rally, he continued to falsely claim that he "ran down the rest" of the way, though footage from his appearance shows him slowly walking the entire distance. He claims that news networks cut the footage of him running.

"I looked very handsome," he said on Saturday. "I took these little steps, then I ran down."

He said that he was surprised to learn his appearance had attracted media attention, believing that it was about the content of his speech, he said.

The president told him that First Lady Melania Trump then told him, "They mention the fact that you may have Parkinson's disease."

He also was criticised about the way he held a glass of water at his West Point speech, using both hands to help him raise water to his mouth, before he had wobbled carefully down a ramp. He said that he couldn't lift the water after saluting dozens of times.

"Six hundred times!" he said. "It's like a workout without a weight."

The president then demonstrated he could drink from a glass, raised it to the crowd, then tossed it across the stage.

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