Further doubts have emerged about the veracity of information provide to the public and media representatives on the state of health of US President Donald Trump.
Official White House photos released to the media showed Mr Trump “at work” inside the special presidential treatment suite at the Walter Reed Military Hospital outside of Washington DC.
But a close examination of one of the photos revealed it may have been faked (main picture).
Asked about the photos at his daily briefing outside the hospital, the President’s official physician, Navy Commander Dr Sean Conley, appeared to confirm – albeit briefly – claims of manipulation of the images.
“I have not manipulated any photos,” Dr Conley said.
Under further questioning he refused to say if he believed anyone else had manipulated them before making an apparent admission.
“OK, the photos are not real,” Dr Conley declared before a White House staffer approached him to whisper in his ear.
“I’m sorry,” Dr Conley continued, “I meant to say the photos are unreal, OK? That’s unreal as in great or fantastic.”
The White House staffer again whispered to Dr Conley who then said: “But not fantastic as in a fantasy.”
Dr Conley also took the opportunity to explain why he had made upbeat statements about the President’s condition in previous days that might not have reflected the actual state of his health.
“I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction,” he said before clarifying even that statement.
“Sorry, I should have said just then: ‘I didn’t want to give any information. That might steer the course of illness in another direction.’ I hope that finally clears that up.”
When reporters asked him for a frank assessment of the President’s current health Dr Conley paused before saying: “The President is very ….. well….”
He was then interrupted again by the White House staffer before saying: “The President is very well.”
He was then led away quickly by the staffer and several Secret Service officers.