Trump covered up colonoscopy for fear he would become the butt of late-night TV jokes: Book

Jimmy Kimmel ultimately used the news as a punchline Wednesday night — the exact thing Trump was trying to prevent

By Brett Bachman
Published September 30, 2021 4:05PM (EDT)
U.S. President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference at the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference at the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It appears one of the big lingering questions about Donald Trump's presidency may have finally been answered, courtesy of former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham's new book, "I'll Take Your Questions Now."

Back in 2019, Trump took a mysterious trip to Walter Reed Medical Center, sparking rumors of poor health and speculation about the possible causes. Well, Grisham says the jaunt was simply to get a routine colonoscopy — though Trump kept a tight lid on that information for fear that he would become the butt of late-night TV jokes. 

Furthermore, the former commander-in-chief refused anesthesia for the procedure so that he would not have to transfer power to former Vice President Mike Pence even momentarily, according to the Huffington Post.


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Adding insult to injury, the very thing Trump was seeking to prevent appears to have finally happened Wednesday night, when late-night host Jimmy Kimmel used the news as a punchline.

"I have to say, it gives me a lot of satisfaction as a late-night talk-show host to know that he opted to stay awake while they augured his innards with a sewer snake specifically because he didn't want us making fun of him," Kimmel said, appearing alongside a chyron that read "WHAT AN A**HOLE."

"He gave us a colonoscopy for like four years. It's time we gave one back."

The procedure, which screens for colorectal cancer, is recommended at regular intervals for people over the age of 45. Despite the unpleasant nature of the procedure, in which a camera is placed in the patient's rectum, regular colonoscopies are credited with saving countless lives each year — in fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, at least 1 in 20 American adults will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer during their lifetime. Early detection is incredibly important in successfully treating the disease. 

You can watch the full "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" clip below via ABC:


Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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