The president’s campaign later said that Mr. Trump was responding to the question in Mr. Lockhart’s tweet, not to news reports, and followed up by calling on CNN to fire Mr. Lockhart, a contributor, for “knowingly pushing a conspiracy theory about President Trump’s health.” Mr. Trump has regularly pushed conspiracy theories about Mr. Biden’s health as he did about the health of Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
Just last week, Mr. Trump suggested Mr. Biden was on drugs and should be tested. Even Tuesday’s campaign statement complaining about conspiracy theories about Mr. Trump’s health advanced one about Mr. Biden’s by describing him as “somebody who truly has lost a step,” part of a concerted effort by the president to question his challenger’s cognitive ability.
Mr. Trump likewise repeated the unfounded claim about drug use by Mr. Biden in the second part of his interview with Ms. Ingraham, which aired on Tuesday night. “He’s on some kind of an enhancement, in my opinion,” the president said, basing it on nothing more than what he called differences in Mr. Biden’s performances in various primary race debates.
Late Tuesday night, Mr. Trump also returned to the question of his own health, tweeting that “Mike Pence was never put on standby, & there were no mini-strokes.” But even then, he could not keep his own explanations straight. He wrote that his trip to Walter Reed “was to complete my yearly physical,” contrary to how he explained it at the time, when he said it was “phase one of my yearly physical” that he would complete later.
During his visit to Kenosha, the president included a pastor for Mr. Blake’s mother in a round-table discussion but made little mention of the shooting that touched off the unrest. “I feel terribly for anybody that goes through that,” Mr. Trump said mildly when asked about Mr. Blake. “As you know, it’s under investigation.”
Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle, said later that he was not surprised that Mr. Trump largely ignored his nephew, who remains in the hospital partly paralyzed.
“That’s our president,” Justin Blake said. “He’s been that from Day 1 when he came down the stairs and he was calling Hispanics murderers. He’s had nothing but foul things to say about African-Americans, in particular our women.”