According to a new book from New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, during a sudden trip that President Donald Trump took to Walter Reed Medical Center last November, Vice President Mike Pence was on standby to temporarily assume the powers of the presidency in case Trump had to be placed under anesthesia. That report seriously undercuts the claims from the president and his allies that the visit, which was not announced ahead of time, was just part of a routine check-up. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Democratic presidential pick Joe Biden noted that, although he wasn’t going to “speculate” about any potential secret purposes of the visit, “nothing this administration does is normal.”
Biden was asked if, as vice president, he’d ever had to be placed on any sort of standby when then-President Barack Obama went in for a medical visit, and the reporter also asked about Biden’s general thoughts about Trump’s infamous Walter Reed visit, which, as mentioned, was not publicly announced ahead of time, which broke with protocol.
‘I’m not going to speculate on what it means, but what I can say is, nothing this administration does is normal. I’m not being facetious when I say that, so who in God’s name knows what this is all about? I just don’t know. I don’t know, and I’m not going to speculate — I’ll let the experts do that. The only time that I have been on notice is when the president’s out of the country, and I’m in the country — not that I should wait for something or immediately be aware of anything, but that that’s something that might be called for. It wasn’t called for.’
Check out video of his remarks below:
Biden on new reports about Trump's trip to Walter Reed hospital: "I will not speculate on what it means. Nothing this administration does is normal… Who in God's name knows what this is all about?" (Recall that one of Trump's talking points is that Biden can't answer questions) pic.twitter.com/yGGt6HzhnZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 2, 2020
This week, President Trump took to Twitter to emphatically deny that he’d had a “series of mini-strokes” — but it’s unclear who’d even made that specific allegation in the first place. Where did he get the idea? Trump countered that Biden himself may have suffered a stroke or strokes — there’s no evidence for that claim.