How does a White House doctor get an overweight, vegetable-hating president to improve his diet?
If you’re Dr. Ronny Jackson, you go sneaky: hide cauliflower in his mashed potatoes.
Jackson served in the White House medical unit under Donald Trump and his two predecessors.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Jackson — a former Navy rear admiral — said he regretted not achieving his publicly stated goal of helping Trump lose 10-15 lbs., mostly through exercise.
“The exercise stuff never took off as much as I wanted it to,” he told the Times. “But we were working on his diet. We were making the ice cream less accessible, we were putting cauliflower into the mashed potatoes.”
The vow to help Trump lose weight came in a news conference two years ago, at which he declared the president had “incredible genes,” performed “exceedingly well” on a cognitive test.
He also asserted that if the president had had a better diet over the previous 20 years, he could have lived to be 200 years old, a startling claim that many ridiculed. But it delighted Trump.
That, Jackson says, gave him the “Trump stamp” of approval.
But he wound up leaving the White House later that year after withdrawing as Trump’s nominee to become the Veterans Affairs secretary, amid “allegations of professional misconduct,” as The Hill puts it.
“Dr. Jackson was viewed as a bully and someone who kept sloppy medical records, drank too much and loosely dispensed strong drugs to curry favor with the powerful politicians and political aides he admired,” the Times reported at the time.
No longer a practicing physician, Jackson is running for Congress in Texas’s vast 13th District, some 40,000 square miles from the Panhandle to the Red River Valley, which The Hill calls “one of the most conservative districts in the country.”
Jackson was counting on his close relationship with Trump to put him over the top in “a primary field of 15 anti-immigrant, anti-abortion Republicans,” the Times says, but so far he’s struggled on the campaign trail.