A former personal physician for Donald Trump has accused the president's associates of “raiding” his office.
Dr. Harold Bornstein said that Keith Schiller, who served as Trump's bodyguard for many years before becoming the director of Oval Office operations, appeared without notice at his clinic on Park Avenue in New York City on Feb. 3, 2017. Accompanying Schiller were Trump Organization lead attorney Alan Garten and another “large man,” according to the doctor.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that the men demanded Trump's medical records, but denied Bornstein's characterization of the incident as a “raid.” The spokeswoman reportedly “had to do a lot of bobbing, weaving and linguistic acrobatics to stem the tide of press questions.”
Hallie Jackson, a White House correspondent for MSNBC, asked: “Why did Keith Schiller, who was a White House employee at the time, go and take medical records from the president’s personal doctor last year?” Sanders responded: “As is standard operating procedure for a new president, the White House medical unit took possession of the president’s medical records.”
The men's surprise visit left the doctor feeling “raped, frightened and sad,” he told NBC News. “They must have been here for 25 or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos,” Bornstein said.
According to the doctor, the president's associates asked him to take down a photo of him posing with Trump that had been on the wall of his office's waiting room. He accused the men of seizing the medical records without a release form that a patient-privacy law requires. The president's medical team should have obtained the form.
The 70-year-old Bornstein was Trump's personal physician for more than 35 years. He reportedly wanted to be the chief of the White House Medical Unit, but was passed over for the position.
In another revelation, Bornstein admitted to NBC News that he did not write the glowing report about Trump's medical status that the candidate's campaign released during the 2016 election race. The doctor conceded that Trump was the author of the brief statement, which Bornstein initially said he wrote.
The document claimed that Trump's “physical strength and stamina (were) extraordinary.” It continued: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” According to the report, the patient's blood pressure was “astonishingly excellent” and his cardiovascular system was “excellent.”
Medical experts and others were skeptical about the statement. The language sounded suspiciously similar to the way Trump talks. The truth finally came this week. The doctor told CNN that the candidate “dictated that whole letter,” adding: “I didn't write that letter. I just made it up as I went along.”
Bornstein said he considered the odd language “black humor,” adding: “It wasn't meant to be a serious comment. I guess people don't have that sense of humor, but I get that sense of humor. It’s like the movie 'Fargo': It takes the truth and moves it in a different direction.”
Bornstein recalled that the so-called raid occurred two days after he told a newspaper reporter he had given Trump multiple prescriptions over the years for medication that helps prevent hair loss. The drug, Propecia, reportedly has an alarming side effect.
Gwenda Blair, who has written a pair of biographies about the president, researched the medication after she heard the doctor tell NBC News about it. “Propecia is associated, you know, is used for hair loss. (Trump) doesn’t want to talk about that,” she said. “It has a lot of bad side effects, including sexual dysfunction. I think he really doesn’t want to talk about that.”
A warning label on Propecia containers notes that it can cause “libido disorders, ejaculation disorders and orgasm disorders.”
It was in an interview with The New York Times that Bornstein announced he had given Propecia to Trump. The doctor seemed to suggest that the president would be bald if he did not take the drug. That apparently angered his patient.
Bornstein said his relationship with Trump ended immediately following the newspaper published the interview. “I couldn’t believe anybody was making a big deal out of a drug to grow his hair that seemed to be so important,” he told NBC News. “And it certainly was not a breach of medical trust to tell somebody they take Propecia to grow their hair. What’s the matter with that?”
Sanders, the president's spokeswoman, declined to answer a reporter's question regarding whether the seizure of documents from the doctor's office was a retaliatory act.
Bornstein is not the only physician associated with Trump who has been in the news lately. Dr. Ronny Jackson, the chief of the White House Medical Unit, was recently forced to withdraw his name from consideration to head the Department of Veterans Affairs.