The shocking, and yet totally believable, revelation from Mark Meadows’ book, regarding the fact that Trump tested positive well before the announcement, indeed three full days before the first debate, continues to reverberate throughout the country. The nation is used to learning of Trump administration lies, both before and after the fact, this one goes a little deeper.
This lie might have impacted national security and recklessly put what had to be hundreds of people at risk.
This morning’s CNN episode of New Day dedicated a segment to the topic, in which they interviewed Trump’s Communication’s Director at the time, Alysa Farah-Griffin.
As she is known to do, Brianna Keilar asked a tough, straight, question that allowed for no wiggle room. What did Griffin know about Trump’s health at the time and even more generally, right now?
Farah-Griffin, of course, answered with a non-answer: “I can’t reveal that at this time. The doctors would like to keep it private. My understanding is that it’s just private medical history”
CNN played a clip in which Farah=Griffin obfuscated at the time
“Ok say so, Alysa? That doesn’t fly. So tell us what’s happening there.”
Somewhat outrageously, Farah-Griffin answered in a way that made her sound like a hero, talking about the questions she got from some of the leading reporters at the time and taking the reporters’ side; “They wanted a timeline, which to me seemed perfectly reasonable,”
Had the White House released a timeline after Trump’s announcement it might have sunk all chances of a Trump victory one month before the election. But she continued;
“I went to the chief of staff and to his doctor and said ‘we are being bombarded by requests for the timeline. They said that is his private medical records. That was my chain of command.”
As if that were not enough, she added; “In retrospect, it totally makes sense why I was told that, because they were hiding a false positive. Most of us had no idea.”
Umm, there is a slight contradiction in her two answers. She said she wanted them to reveal a timeline, but it only now makes sense? And, it is a bit hard to believe that there were later negative tests (though it can’t be proven by the media) because the timeline fits so perfectly as to when he was at his sickest.
David Gregory, also on the panel, lit Farah-Griffin up:
“It’s also absurd of course because he’s the president of the United States,.
“All the privacy about his health, it is important that our commander in chief … he could fit into the rich history of other presidents who lied about medical ailments. He is the president during a pandemic, and is not telling the truth about testing positive.”
Farah-Griffin jumped in, again – to be one of the good guys;
“I made that point. I pushed back and said this is in the interest of public health, it is of vital public interest. This is a 74-year-old commander in chief. His health matters.”
That there was a false positive?
That answer is the least believable in the entire interview. From what we know of the Trump administration, Trump made the decisions, not the staff, not the doctors, not the communication director, or anyone under her at the time. Anyone who “fought back” risked being terminated by the end of the day. Of course, we cannot entirely rule out that she’s telling the truth, but it just doesn’t sound like something that would happen in that White House.
But it’s not the only thing that doesn’t make sense with respect to her answers or what the White House had to be doing at the time. It would be almost impossible for the people in close proximity to Trump to not know that something very important was different and it had to involve his health. The few people around Trump, and Trump himself, would quite suddenly be acting very differently than anything she had been used to.
We cannot know. But the story that makes far more sense is that she knew, was told to lie, and why. It would be irresponsible to not acknowledge that if Farah-Griffin came right out and said, “I was told to lie,” she would be banished from Trump World altogether and her career in conservative politics, for the near term at a minimum, would be over.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
Please visit his Substack Newsletter, get the first month free: Much Ado About Everything: By Jason Miciak