President Donald Trump again boasted about his performance on a cognitive test and disputed critics who said passing the test was not a great accomplishment because the questions are designed to help identify signs of dementia or cognitive impairment.
"The first questions are very easy," Trump conceded in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday. But, he said, "The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It's like, you'll go, 'Person, woman, man, camera, TV.' So they say, 'Could you repeat that?'"
"And you go, 'Person, woman, man, camera TV.' They say, 'That's amazing. How did you do that?'"
Trump and his campaign have said the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, 77, is showing signs of cognitive decline. The president, 74, has said Biden could not pass the same cognitive test he passed in 2018 amid rampant speculation that he was himself mentally unfit to lead the country.
FDR: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Kennedy: “ask not what your country can do for you”
Trump: “person, woman, man, camera, TV” pic.twitter.com/Zlg6SC9ulr
— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) July 23, 2020
"He cannot pass the test I 'aced,'" Trump tweeted on July 2. "He should give it a try!!!"
"He should take the same exact test, a very standard test," Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on July 9. "I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors and they were very surprised. They said, 'That’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anyone do what you just did.'"
Critics pointed out that the test Trump took, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, consists of one page and features very basic questions. A version available online includes exercises like drawing a clock and identifying the letter "A."
"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace told Trump he took the test himself and chuckled as he recounted the questions.
"It's not that hardest test," Wallace said. "There's a picture and it says, 'What's that?' and it's an elephant."
Trump told Wallace that was "all misrepresentation."
'The test I aced': What we know about the president's cognitive test
"Yes, the first few questions are easy," Trump said. "But I'll bet you couldn't even answer the last five questions. I'll bet you couldn't. They get very hard, the last five questions."
"Well, one of them was count back from 100 by seven," Wallace replied.
On Wednesday, Trump told Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News medical contributor, that Wallace was a "tough cookie."
Siegel asked Trump what voters should know about Biden's health.
Trump said a president needs "stamina" and "mental health" because "you have so much fake news."
"First, they'd say, he wants to take over the world. He's going to take over the world. He's a dictator. The next day, they'll say, he is crazy. The next day, they'll say, oh, he is incompetent. The next day, they'll say something," he said.
'I don't think I'm fake news': Highlights from Chris Wallace's contentious interview with Trump
Trump spoke at length on the "memory" and "delayed recall" portion of the test, which he considered the challenging part.
"They give you five names, and you have to repeat them, and that's OK," he said. "But then when you go back about 20 to 25 minutes later, and they say go back to that question, then I'll tell you this – go back to that question and repeat them."
"Can you do it?" he challenged Siegel.
In, the version of the test available online, the subject is asked to repeat a list of five words. When that is done, the subject is given the words again and asked to repeat them a second time. The person administering the test then advises the subject they will be asked to recall the words again at the end of the test.
Though Trump said he had to go back and answer the questions "20 to 25 minutes later," the test time is listed as taking "approximately 10 minutes." While he claims "you get extra points" if you repeated the words in order, the test instructions include a script to be read, which tells the subject, "It doesn’t matter in what order you say them."
Trump said he was able to pass the test "because I have, like, a good memory, because I'm cognitively there."
"Now, Joe should take that test because something is going on. And I say this with respect. I mean, it's going to probably happen to all of us, right? You know, it's going to happen," he said. "But we can't take a chance of it happening when you're dealing with Russia."
Several recent polls have shown that Trump's attempts to paint Biden as unfit have not been very successful with voters. A Fox News poll published Sunday found 39% thought Biden lacked the "mental soundness to serve effectively as president," compared to a 51% majority who said the same of Trump.
Trump was widely mocked on social media for his repetition of the "person, woman, man, camera, TV" mantra in Wednesday's interview.
"'Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV' was the title of my third album. It had a Talking Heads vibe," tweeted David Corn of Mother Jones.
"I believe in free health care for every person, woman, man, camera, TV," said actor Will Arnett.
"Barack Obama had to be a double Ivy League graduate, President of the Harvard Law Review, a constitutional law professor, a bestselling author, and a United States Senator. Trump had to remember five words in order," tweeted CNN contributor Keith Boykin.
Person. Man. Woman. Camera. TV.
American. Voters. Elect. Biden. Please.
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) July 23, 2020
It’s an hour later and I’d just like to say this: person woman man camera tv
Am I President yet?
— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) July 23, 2020
Trump: Person, woman, man, camera, TV
Me: Brick, are you just looking at things in the office and saying that you love them?
— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) July 23, 2020
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump again boasts about performance on 'difficult' cognitive test