Mental Decline Defense of Trump Undercut by Creator of His Favorite Cognitive Test

Trump often brags about nailing the cognitive test, intended to highlight signs of early dementia. After bragging about it at a January New Hampshire rally, the test’s creator had something to say. 

Trump’s confusion 

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Nikki Haley, GOP’s presidential hopeful, was blamed for the January 6th riots since she was in charge of the security. Or at least that’s what Trump told his supporters in the Granite State. 

Trump’s rant 

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The former President said to the New Hampshire crowd, “You know, by the way, they never report the crowd on January 6.” Trump added, “You know, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley,” and continued, “Nikki Haley, you know they, do you know they destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything, deleted and destroyed all of it. All of it because of lots of things like Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guard, whatever they want. They turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that. These are very dishonest people.”

Pelosi was not responsible 

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Despite the name switch and accusations by MAGA Republicans, Pelosi, then-House Speaker, was shown on January 6th tapes trying to hide from the rioters. The video showed Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer negotiating with governors and defense officials to get the National Guard to the Capitol. Schumer called the secretary of DoD. 

Pelosi wanted to punch Trump

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The tapes played in front of the January 6th Committee, showed Pelosi telling Schumer, “If he comes, I’m gonna punch him out,” Pelosi responded. “I’ve been waiting for this. For trespassing on the Capitol grounds, I’m going to punch him out. And I’m going to go to jail, and I’m going to be happy.” She was clearly referring to Trump. 

Trump’s alleged cognitive decline

Former US President and 2024 Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during a Team Trump Iowa Commit to Caucus event at the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa, on October 7, 2023. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP)

The Washington Post reported how Trump discussed the test in New Hampshire, explaining, “They always show you the first one, like a giraffe, a tiger, or this, or that — a whale. ‘Which one is the whale?’ Okay. And that goes on for three or four [questions], and then it gets harder and harder and harder.” 

The test’s creator did not include the whale 

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Ziad Nasreddine, who created the cognitive test, called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, or MoCA, “said it has never included the specific combination of animals described by Trump in any of its versions over the years,” the Washington Post reported. Additionally, the assessment never included a whale. 

Nasreddine’s explanation

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The scientist did not wholly dismiss Trump’s statement. He asserted that maybe the former President recalled it wrongly or that he was talking “hypothetically.” But, since this was not the first time Trump mentioned the test, he never mentioned whales before. 

Trump and the test

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On June 14, 2020, Trump allegedly took out the test and “suddenly asked the assembled crowd if he should challenge Biden to a cognitive test.” This was reported by an unnamed GOP member, with another person alleging, “I just remember when I walked out, saying to a co-worker, ‘That was nuts.'”

“Person, woman, man, camera, TV”

Former US President Donald Trump sits in New York State Supreme Court during the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization, in New York City on January 11, 2024. Trump's legal team will deliver closing arguments January 11 in the fraud case after the judge barred the former president from using the trial finale as an election campaign grandstand. (Photo by Peter Foley / POOL / AFP)
Image by Peter Foley / POOL / AFP

The 45th president described the test as “difficult” and explained that extra points come if one repeats the words in order. The words in the test, based on Trump’s statements from the summer of 2020, were “Person, woman, man, camera, TV.” 

Trump was impressed

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While on Fox News, the then-president added, “They said nobody gets it in order; it’s’ actually not that easy. But for me, it was easy. And that’s not an easy question.” Speaking to Fox News host Chris Wallace, Trump proudly proclaimed in 2020, “I guarantee you that Joe Biden could not answer those questions.”

Trump’s other gaffe

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While speaking to Fox’s Sean Hannity in January, Trump, once again, confused President Biden with former President Obama. Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough stated, “He really does think that Barack Obama is still president of the United States,” adding, “Trump is not well, we know this.” 

Following the first mix-up, Trump offered an explanation 

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After the initial mix-up, Trump wrote on Truth Social, “Whenever I sarcastically insert the name Obama for Biden as an indication that others may actually be having a very big influence in running our Country.” 

Trump knows names “very well”

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The November post added, “Ron DeSanctimonious and his failing campaign apparatus, together with the Democrat’s Radical Left ‘Disinformation Machine,’ go wild saying that ‘Trump doesn’t know the name of our President, (CROOKED!) Joe Biden. He must be cognitively impaired. No, I know both names very well, never mix them up, and know that they are destroying our Country.”

Now what?

Former US President and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump departs after speaking at a "Commit to Caucus" rally in Clinton, Iowa, on January 6, 2024. (Photo by TANNEN MAURY / AFP)

Even if there’s some deep conspiracy theory Trump was referring to, explaining that Haley and Pelosi are somehow working together would be quite the stretch. There is a possibility that Trump is exhausted, considering he’s in his late 70s, facing numerous trials and campaigning for the presidency. 

Haley asked for cognitive tests

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Ironically, Nikki Haley said she will seek mental competency tests for federal elected officials over 75 years of age if elected. 


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