The President elect stops short of releasing his full medical records on Dr. Oz’s show.
NEW YORK — Donald Trump could stand to lose a few: 15 to 20 pounds to be precise.
That’s the weight loss goal the Republican nominee shared in a Wednesday interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz, according to several audience members who sat through the taping. Trump said he currently weighs 236 pounds, according to two audience members. (Other reports had audience members giving conflicting readouts, with some saying Trump put his weight at 267 pounds).
The interview was light on details but heavy on drama. After Trump’s aides poured cold water on reports that Trump would use the taping to share the results of a recent physical exam, Trump went ahead and pulled a letter from his colorful gastroenterologist Harold Bornstein out of his jacket mid-interview and handed it to Oz to read aloud, according to attendees.
Like the much-ridiculed, hyperbolic letter from Bornstein that Trump released in December following a POLITICO report about his reluctance to release medical records, Bornstein’s report on Trump’s recent physical exam painted a picture of general good health, but did not offer the level of detail contained in a full release of medical records.
Trump, for his part, mostly offered vague statements about himself, according to attendees.
Asked if his doctors were concerned about his weight, Trump said he personally would like to lose 15 to 20 pounds. (At 6′ 3″ Trump would be considered overweight at 236 and obese at 267, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s body mass index standards.)
During the interview, the New York businessman, who takes statins for cholesterol, defended his frequent resort to fast food, explaining that he travels often and the chains offer consistency. He also said he gets his exercise from golf and from working up a sweat giving political speeches. He said he has had less time for golf since running for president. According to one attendee, Trump joked that President Obama plays enough golf to join the PGA Tour.
Hillary Clinton came up only in passing, according to attendees, who said Trump wished her well and that he and Oz agreed early in the hour-long interview not to focus on her health.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his statements during the taping.
Attendance was restricted to staffers, friends and families for the special taping, and the bridge-and-tunnel crowd offered a mix reaction. “He didn’t really answer the questions directly,” said attendee Carmela Villa, who works at a professional services firm. “He didn’t say anything specific on anything.”
Ivanka Trump, who arrived at the studio roughly 30 minutes ahead of her father and left it moments before him, joined the candidate for the latter part his interview to plug her working families initiative, and several women in attendance praised her performance. “The daughter was so nice,” said Alyssa Scardelli. “She completely makes it seem like he is for women just as much as he is for men.”
Ahead of the show, Ivanka Trump had declared her father’s health to be “unbelievable,” praising his “strength” and “stamina” on the campaign trail.
Trump and Clinton’s health have both been the subject of intense interest, especially after footage emerged on Sunday of Clinton appearing to nearly collapse after she left a 9/11 memorial service early. Her campaign later revealed she had been diagnosed with pneumonia the previous Friday and has since pledged to release more medical records this week.
Trump’s campaign has also promised to disclose the results of his recent physical, and there was initially an expectation that Oz would do a grand reveal of those results, fueled by an interview Oz did with Fox’s Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday.
However, aides said on Wednesday morning that Trump would not be offering up his medical records on the program.
Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN that does “not necessarily” mean that Trump has changed his mind about sharing his records.
“I mean as far as I know Brian Kilmeade isn’t a spokesperson for the campaign. And I think that the campaign itself has been extremely clear that Donald Trump will release his records this week from a physical he took on Friday,” Huckabee Sanders said. “We’re in the middle of the week. It’s certainly not over and he still plans to do that. But he is, unlike Hillary Clinton, willing to sit down with a doctor in a public forum and have a very open discussion about his health just as he’s done on hundreds of other issues, because he’s unafraid to sit down with the press. He does it every single day. And he’s going to do it to talk about his health as he continues to do it on the campaign trail.”