Trump’s doctors knew Saturday — and declined to tell reporters — that the president had been given supplemental oxygen the previous day. But White House communications director Alyssa Farah suggested Sunday that the doctors didn’t inform the public because they didn’t have the information.
In a Fox News interview Sunday afternoon, Farah claimed the doctors were initially hesitant because accuracy is “more important than speed.”
“We’re committed to being transparent with the public, but what I’ve learned in these moments is that accuracy is, in fact, more important than speed,” Farah said. “We’d rather get you the fully accurate, full-picture information rather than rush out the door with facts when we don’t necessarily have all of that.”
When host Trace Gallagher pointed out that the doctors had the information but chose not to release it, Farah changed course.
“And to my second point, though, what I would say is, it’s a very — it’s a common medical practice that you want to convey confidence and you want to raise the spirits of the person you’re treating,” she said. “I know this president. I don’t know that he needs his spirits raised, but I think it’s actually a very common medical practice to do that. So if anything, the doctor was giving a really strong and confident viewpoint.”
Earlier Sunday, at a news briefing outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Conley, Trump’s doctor, said that in not initially disclosing that Trump had been on oxygen, he was “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over his course of illness, has had.”
“I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true,” Conley said.
Farah on Sunday also disputed reports that Trump is angry with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for telling reporters his condition was concerning.
“No, absolutely not. Mark Meadows has barely left the president’s side,” Farah said. She added: “Honestly, if anything, I think the chief of staff’s comments reflect how close their relationship is. … They couldn’t be closer, working together throughout this.”