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CNN International: White House: The President Is Not Being Treated By Parkinson's; Kyiv's Children's Hospital Hit In Russian Missile Strikes; Biden To Host NATO Summit In Washington This Week. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired July 08, 2024 - 15:00   ET


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And then when it became when the president actually spoke to it, we actually -- I went back, ask the -- ask the -- ask the medical doctor, and he said they had a verbal check-in.


That's what he said. But in answering the question, I was talking about the medical exam. I was talking about the physical.

REPORTER: Can I ask you a quick one. There was a lot of reporting the last 24 hours about a Parkinson's expertise come to visit the White House almost a dozen times of last year or so, including at least one meeting with the president's physician. Could you state very clearly yes or no? Was that expert here to participate in anything surrounding the care of the president of the United States?

JEAN-PIERRE: So let me just say a couple of things. We have had a comprehensive -- and I just want take another step back, comprehensive physical examination. The president has had that. We'd given a comprehensive report.

We've shared that the past three years, every year that he has -- every year that he has had this exam, he sees a neurologist, and just to give you a quote from that -- from the report most recently in February, an extremely detailed neurological exam was again reassuring in that there were no findings which would be consistent with any cerebella -- cerebellar or other central neurological disorders such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, or ascending lateral sclerosis, end quote.

And so, that came directly from -- in February in that comprehensive report that was provided by the president's doctor to me that I share with all of you. So anyone who is watching can certainly go to a website.

REPORTER: Does not answer the question, though, which was this -- was this expert's visits to -- his multiple visits to the White House pertaining at all to the president's care?

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, here's the thing, I have -- I've said he's -- he has had three -- he has three physicals. In those three physicals, that's when he has seen specialists, a neurologist -- neurological specialists.

I have to be super mindful here, and this is why, and I'll -- and I'll explain this to you in a second. There are thousands of military personnel who come onto this White House. Many of them get the care from the White House medical unit. And so, we need to be super careful.

There are, you know, the medical unit host a ride range of specialists from dermatologist to neurologist. And so I cannot speak to every person because there are actually -- there's actually a security reasons to protect their privacy we respect and protecting peoples privacy. So do not want to share. I'm not going to share peoples names from here.

But the president, I can tell you, has seen a neurologist three times as its connected to the physical that he gets every year that we provide to all --


REPORTER: Karine, I asked a very basic direct question --

JEAN-PIERRE: Wait, hold on, hold on, wait, wait, wait a second.

REPORTER: -- come to the White House eight times, or at least once in regards to the president's specific --

JEAN-PIERRE: Hold on a second.

REPORTER: That what you should be able to answer by this point. There's reporting about it.

JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, wait a minute. Come -- Ed, please. A little respect here, please?

So every year, around the president's physical examination, he sees a neurologist that's three times, right? So I am telling you that he has seen or neurologist three times while he has been in this presidency that's what I'm saying.


JEAN-PIERRE: I'm telling you the he has seen him three times. That is what I'm sharing with you, right? So every time he has a physical, he has had to see a neurologist. So that is answering that question.

REPORTER: No, it's not.

JEAN-PIERRE: No, it is. It is. You're asking me --

REPORTER: Did Dr. Kevin Cannard come to the White House --


JEAN-PIERRE: I just I also said to you, Ed, I also said to you for security reasons, we cannot share names. We cannot share names. REPORTER: You cannot share names of others he would have met with but

you can share names in regards if someone came here with regards to the president.

JEAN-PIERRE: No, we cannot share, we cannot share names of specialists broadly, from a dermatologist to a neurologist. We cannot share names. There are security reasons we have to -- we have to --


REPORTER: What about those visitors? It's public.

JEAN-PIERRE: I understand that.


REPORTER: -- for everyone to see.

JEAN-PIERRE: Ed, I hear you. I cannot from here confirm any of that because we have to keep their privacy. I think they would appreciate that, too. We have to give them --


REPORTER: -- the doctor.

JEAN-PIERRE: We have to keep their privacy.

REPORTER: It is public. It is public.


JEAN-PIERRE: And you would allow to fester longer, Karine, unless the White House answers the question.

JEAN-PIERRE: Hold on a second. There's no reason to get back -- and go back and forth to me in this aggressive way.

REPORTER: Missed around here about how information has been shared with the press corps about here.

JEAN-PIERRE: What do you missed about? What do you missed about?

REPORTER: Everything he just asked about.

JEAN-PIERRE: What do you -- and then every time I come back and I answered the question that you guys ask.

REPORTER: And you answer incorrectly, and have to come back and clean that up.

JEAN-PIERRE: I never answer the question incorrectly. That is not true. I was asked about a medical exam. I was asked about a physical that was in the line of question that I answered and I said no, he did not have a medical exam and I still stand that by that. In fact, the president still stands by that. He had a verbal check-in. That is something that the president has a couple times a week, a couple of times a week.


REPORTER: Now, in regards to the Dr. Kevin Cannard.

JEAN-PIERRE: And I am telling you right now that I am not sharing confirming names from here. It is a security reasons. I fact, going to do that, Ed. It doesn't matter how hard you push me. It doesn't matter how angry you get with me. I'm not going to confirm a name. It doesn't matter if it's even in the log. I am not going to do that from here. That is not something I am going to do.

What I can share with you is that the president has seen a neurologist for his physical three times, three times. And it is in the reporting that we share a comprehensive reporting bought a matter of fact, it's more than what the last guy shared and it is in line with what George -- George W. Bush did. It's in line with what Obama did.

And so, it is comprehensive. It is out there. I just read a quote from it, but I am not -- I am not going to devolve somebody's name in or confirm someone. I'm not going to do that. That is as is it privacy for that person.

I'm not going to do that. It doesn't matter how hard you push me. It doesn't matter how angry you get with me from here. I'm just not going to do that.

It is inappropriate. It is not acceptable. So I'm not going to do it.

REPORTER: But, Karine, can you confirm whether or not the president has seen this Parkinson's specialist? Then you mentioned three times, but the visitor log showed a duration of eight visits. I think that is the crux of the question.

JEAN-PIERRE: But I also said, I also said there are thousands of military personnel that come to the White House and they are under the care of the medical unit. They are.

REPORTER: Can you confirm that the Parkinson's visits, specialist visits were for the president or not?

JEAN-PIERRE: What I can tell you is that the president has seen a neurologist three times and I read to you what the neurologist has said and I read to you the last the last line I could say it again, no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurologic -- neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, or ascending lateral sclerosis.

That is from -- that is from February. That is coming from February. That is what the medical unit, the president's doctor shared and I share -- I said to you, it's happened three times. Each time there is a physical that occurs and we put out a comprehensive report, that is when he has been able to see -- to see a specialist. So that's what I can share.

REPORTER: Question on this. Has the president you mentioned Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, all of these things. One diagnosis that we have, potential diagnosis, hydrocephalus, which is fluid buildup in the brain. It's something we've never heard. And then the medical reports, is that something that the president has been evaluated?

JEAN-PIERRE: If it's -- if it's not in the medical report, obviously, it's not -- it's not something that the president is dealing with, well, I can tell you this. Just going back to Parkinson's for a little bit. So to give you some answers here, has the president been treated for Parkinson's? No. Is he being treated for Parkinson's? No, he's not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson's? No.

So those are the things that I can give you full-blown answers on, but I'm not going to do -- I'm not going to confirm a specialist, any specialists that comes to -- come to -- come to the White House out of privacy.

REPORTER: Question, will the president go to the Hill today? I know we saw this letter. Has he intended to have this conversation face-to- face, Karine?

JEAN-PIERRE: So look, the president, obviously, this is someone who is a senator for 36 years, who was the president of the Senate as when he was vice president for eight years, and he respects, truly respects the members of Congress and has always, and will always do that especially as a former senator.

And I will say and you heard -- you've heard us say this before or most recently is this is a president who's won -- won the primary, right, by 14 million votes, 87 percent of those votes, certainly. And look, I don't have any engagements to read out, you know, outside of that, but I will say that the president was in Pennsylvania. I just mentioned at the top because he got to see Senator Fetterman, Senator Casey.

He also got to see Congresswoman Dean. He spent some time with them. They traveled across Pennsylvania. And I will say, when do president gets knocked down, he gets back up. This is quintessential. Joe Biden, and there are a long list of other congressional members who have shown their support for this president.

I don't have anything else to read out. You saw the letter, the letter -- the letter was I think pretty, pretty clear on where the president stand, and I'll just leave it there.

REPORTER: You noted that there are thousands within the Walter Reed system, maybe treated by specialist who visits the file here at the White House. But this neurologist had a meeting with the president's physician, with his doctor.

You were standing to say he was here to evaluate the president --

JEAN-PIERRE: I understand.

REPORTER: -- or he was consulting on the president's health. So what then was that meeting about? [15:10:00]

JEAN-PIERRE: And I will say that Dr. Connor leads the medical unit. He's literally -- he's literally -- he leads the medical unit, because we will not confirm or speak to names that are you're providing to me. It is out of security reasons. It is out of protecting someone's privacy. We're just not going to do that, but they are the reason that I mentioned that is because there are 1,000 military members that do indeed used the -- use the White House medical unit. They do. They get care from that.


REPORTER: We're talking about president of the United States.

JEAN-PIERRE: Guys, I'm trying to answer the question so you can connect the dots that there are multiple neurologists that come -- not neurologists, specialists that come through here because there are more a -- like more than 1,000 medical, medical, military personnel here, military personnel here.

REPORTER: But you can clear this all up just by saying what he was doing here and if it was connected to the president, yes or no?

JEAN-PIERRE: I am not going to confirm the -- a particular neurologist, anybody. It doesn't matter if they're dermatologist or neurologist. I'm just not going to do that.

I shared with all of you that the president has met -- has been with the neurologist three times as it relates to his physical, three times. So, you know, I just not -- guys, I'm just not going to do that out of security reasons, out of privacy. It is -- it is not something that I'm going to do, a measure of privacy. We have to be able to give people from here.


REPORTER: The president's doctor you say has seen no reason to evaluate him for Parkinson's since these physical in February. Is that based on these verbal check-ins that you've been describing, based on his public appearance?

JEAN-PIERRE: We say that one more time?

REPORTER: You've said that the president's doctor has seen no reason to evaluate him or reevaluate him for Parkinson's since that physical in February. What does that based on? As if --

JEAN-PIERRE: I never said. Well, what I have said is -- what I have said is that we just had a physical just in February and the physical was very clear. It was a comprehensive physical. We gave out a report on that.

And you know, as it relates to the check-ins, that is something that is common. The president has a medical unit that is literally down the hall that he's able to check in with when necessary. They normally do it while he's exercising. That is not uncommon.

It is very different. It is very different than any everyday Americans. They do not have that option. They do not have that access because he's president of the United States. Every other president has had that access and they are able to do that.

REPORTER: So, just to be clear, yes or no. Has he -- has his physician see a reason to reevaluate him for Parkinson's since the February physical?

JEAN-PIERRE: No, the comprehensive report that you all have stand, there is -- the president obviously will have another physical and we'll wait for that physical.

REPORTER: So, the president has said twice that he had neurological evaluations as part of his physicals, you know, in these various interviews today, and then also on ABC.

But there have been a number of people who have said, listen, why don't you have cognitive test just to rule out that there are any issues with the president? Do you -- would you -- would you do that just to sort of put an end to these questions?

JEAN-PIERRE: You know, I hear you. The neurologist has said it is not warranted. The president himself, he said it today. He said it multiple times, and the doctor has said this. Everything that he does day in and day out as it relates to delivering for the American people, is a cognitive test, and that is what the medical doctor has said, that is what the special has said.

I do want it. I just want to take a step back for a second because I do take offense to what Ed alluded to. You know, come out here every day there's a press briefing and we do our best to give you the information that we have at the time. That's what we do.

And we understand that freedom of the press. We respect the freedom of the press. You heard me talk about this last week. We -- I appreciate the back-and-forth that we all have. It is -- I tried to respect you and I hope you tried to respect me, and we literally do everything that we can. My team does everything that we can to make sure we get the answers to you. That's what we do.

And sometimes we disagree. Sometimes we are not in agreement. But you know what? That's democracy. That is what is important to have that healthy back-and-forth.

And so to say that I'm holding information or allude to anything else is not unfair, is really, really unfair. I think people who are watching and have been watching this briefing for this past week could say that were doing our best in this briefing to provide the information that we have.

And I will admit -- I will be the first one to admit, sometimes I get it wrong. At least I admit that, at least I admit that.

[15:15:02] And sometimes I don't have the information and I will always, always admit that. But I do take offense to what was just happening at the beginning of this briefing. It's not okay.

REPORTER: We are seeking clarity.

JEAN-PIERRE: I understand that.

REPORTER: And I think what we're trying to say is when a name is an public record on a waive form, that it is in the public domain.


REPORTER: The president could authorize that his medical records or additional medical information could be made public because he could waive HIPAA, he could do those things. And if he chooses to do that, we would like to know more.

Part of the reason we are pressing here is that were not clear on what has happened and therefore, the American people to whom we report don't have a sense of it. So that's what were trying to do. And so --

JEAN-PIERRE: Personal attacks is not okay.

REPORTER: And we want to have a positive --

JEAN-PIERRE: Very, very clear here.

REPORTER: So the question is -- one question is after a debate that drew days and days and days of scrutiny, why hasn't the president had an in-person physical check-in? Maybe blood work, maybe other things because when he said he was seeing -- I certainly thought he had been physically, seen not a phone check. So, as -- and that's part of what were saying about information comes out in waves and then we may have a different impression.

So --

JEAN-PIERRE: And I totally understand that.

REPORTER: -- this dominated his presidency for 10 days and he could submit to another exam, a full exam, partial exam, whatever. He can waive his right to make things public. None of us are asking about the military members who might be seeing a physician here. None of us.

We are only asking about the president's wellbeing.

JEAN-PIERRE: Understood.

REPORTER: And so, that's why we want to understand. When you see on the public records that a physician with his specialty has come to the White House, go into the residence clinic and met with the president's physician, we feel like there was more to be said there. And that's what we're asking.

JEAN-PIERRE: And I understand that, Kelly O., and you know, I respect you wholeheartedly and I've known you for some time. We want to be also because we are in particular, we are talking about someone whose name, who is out there and I understand, I get it, it's in the law. I get that. It's in the law.

REPORTER: What's the security concern?

JEAN-PIERRE: We want to -- we want to respect that person and give them the measure of privacy that they deserve. The moment I say anything about me, specialist, it becomes a thing from this podium. So what I can share, and this is what I can share. He has seen a neurologist three times, three times, not more --


JEAN-PIERRE: Not more than that. Not more than that. He's seen a neurologist three times.

And that is connected to the physical, the comprehensive physical that we have been able to share with you. So I think that gives you some information about how many times, three times. And the reason why I am sharing that there are thousands of military personnel, so you also have an understanding because there are 1,000 military personnel that comes here and that not just comes here, but under the care of the medical unit, right?

They get -- they get care from the White House medical unit. They there tends to be dermatologist from or dermatologists to neurologic -- neurologists come through here who come through here because the White House medical unit it is indeed caring for folks.

So I have confirmed three times -- three times. I just cannot get into details or confirm a name of a person. I cannot do that. There are security reasons. We have to give people a measure of privacy.

REPORTER: Can you ask the president to waive some of his records --

JEAN-PIERRE: I don't know how all of that works. I'm not going to pretend I know how that works and what I will do is certainly will share that information with the powers that be. I just don't want to get into a back-and-forth on that particular question.


REPORTER: Thanks, Karine. To Kelly O's point, the president today when he called into "Morning Joe", he said that he had released all of his medical records. Should we take an indication that he's going to do so?

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, look what I can say is that we have shared a comprehensive medical report that is pretty detailed. That is in line with other president's, certainly not the last one, but the ones the two before, before the last president, and we have been pretty much in line with what they have been -- what they have done. What -- to be more clear, George W. Bush, and also President Obama.

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) come to the briefing room to speak to us. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay. And we know what that last president said from this

briefing room. Okay? So -- they only did three, I think three or four paragraphs. Very different, very different approach.

REPORTER: During the call today to MSNBC, was the president reading off a script.

JEAN-PIERRE: So I was in the room when the president called into "Morning Joe", the president spoke from his heart. The president was very clear. There was no script at all.


And he was very detailed. You heard him say actually during the call that he was reading some quotes. He said it, he shared that information.

He was reading some quotes from the debate. So he shared that with you, what you heard was a passionate interview was by 18 minutes he talked about and laid out his vision for this country. He talked about how he wants to make sure we move forward.

I want to be really careful because he also talked about the campaign which I can't do from here. But he -- you know, I think it was incredibly powerful.

REPORTER: He was reading quotes, but not from a script?

JEAN-PIERRE: No, it was not a script.

REPORTER: And in the big boys press conference, how many questions should we expect that he is going to take?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, it is going to be a solo press conference. It is going to be certainly more than a two plus two. I'm not going to -- we're still working it out, so I'm not going to go into specifics from here. But you could expect a solo press conference from this president at the end of the NATO summit. He's looking forward to it and he will be taking your questions. So that'll be a good --


REPORTER: Karine, I have two questions. Follow up on Dr. Cannard, and that is, can you explain what the role of Megan Nasworthy is? Does she oversee care for some of those military personnel that you were referencing as a group or does she oversee care for the president?

JEAN-PIERRE: I believe -- again, I want to be careful here. I know who you're speaking of. I don't have her full portfolio in front of me, so I wouldn't have for my team and I will be happy to get back to you.

REPORTER: OK. And then on the president's and the White House's engagement with House Democrats.

JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah. REPORTER: And Democrats more broadly. There was an article a month ago in "The Wall Street Journal" that the White House universally panned because the on-the-record quotes criticizing the president's age and acuity of largely from Republicans.

But I want to ask about the grasp in that story about Democrats. It said --

JEAN-PIERRE: From that story?

REPORTER: From that same story. It said that the White House kept close tabs on "The Journal's" interviews with Democratic lawmakers. And after the offices of several Democrats shared with the White House, either a recording of an interview or details about what was asked, some of those lawmakers spoke to "The Journal" a second time and once again emphasized Biden's strength.

They quote Congressman Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat saying, they just said that I should give you a call back.

I'm wondering if you could characterize what the White House told Democrats to tell reporters about the --

JEAN-PIERRE: I think the Democrats spoke for themselves I think, you know, you know, how stories work. There is -- there's a lot of back- and-forth. When you all come with a story from us and we want to make sure you hear from other voices. We -- we make that available to you all.

And it's up to the reporters. They're going to reach out or not to that particular person but we expect and we anticipate and we understand that it doesn't matter who if it's a Congress person or a governor or any elected official? They're going to speak for themselves. They're going to speak for themselves.

And I would say that Representative Greg Meeks has also been very supportive. If you fast forward to where we are today, Representative Meeks has been very supportive this president continuing moving forward. And we've heard from many others, many others, the CBC more -- more broadly, has been very supportive. We heard from the chair chairman, Chairman Horsford, from the CBC.

And so that is the type of support that we continue to see.

REPORTER: So there hasn't been outreach by the White House to Democrats who might have misgivings about the president's age or acuity to have them say positive things about the president publicly?

JEAN-PIERRE: I'm not really -- I don't quite understand where you're going with the question. I think I explained it. Sometimes when you all are working on stories and we want to hear you -- and we were trying to provide supporters from those president, that is not unusual and it is up to the reporter to reach out or not.

And so, that is something that we certainly do. That is something that that is not uncommon and but what I would say more broadly, there are -- there are congressional members as we're talking about what's happening in Congress -- as we're talking about the president's outreach, as we're talking about, you know, how we move forward, there are congressional members out there who have been incredibly supportive.

We have to remember there are hundreds of House members and so, there are folks out there --

REPORTER: Can you talk a little bit about the president's outreach today and tomorrow ahead of these call conference and all caucus meetings?

JEAN-PIERRE: So what I can say is that, as you all know, the president -- the president has done some outreach. His total spoke about it himself. I can say as of today, he has -- he has engaged with dozens of members, whether in person or on calls.

We saw him engaging with congressional members over the weekend. We saw him doing that on several of the trips that he has done over the past ten days, have been about six states that he's been able to stop over and do and engage with supporters.


So he's been able to do that.

And there's a long list. I'm trying to spare you the list here, but there is a long list, Senator Chris Coons, Senator John Fetterman, Senator Alex Padilla, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Raphael Warnock. It goes on and on, Representative Clyburn, Al Green, Horsford, as I mentioned already.

There has been a long list we believe incredibly supportive, supportive congressional, congressional members who have continued --

REPORTER: This has been the list that have been provided to us from the campaign, too, but I'm wondering if the president has spoken directly with Leader Schumer and Leader Jeffries in the last 24 hours --

JEAN-PIERRE: And the president -- I hear you. We share that just last week, that the president spoke to the leadership, obviously, on the Democratic side.

REPORTER: Since yesterday?

JEAN-PIERRE: I don't have anything to read out to you as far as what we've shared with you last week. But the president has been in regular touch and those conversations went very, very well. I think he mentioned in particular, leader Jeffries that went almost for an hour. The president said that himself. He said how much they had a very, very good conversation.

The president saw Congresswoman Dean, as I mentioned, he saw both senators of Pennsylvania as well yesterday traveled across the state and had really two big events with supporters with Americans who would got to hear directly from the president. And I think that's important.


REPORTER: Karine, were all three of President Biden's neurological exams that you've confirmed -- were they all conducted at Walter Reed?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I don't have -- I don't have anything to state as to location. What I can say for sure that he has seen neurologist three times as it relates to the exam that he takes every year and I just don't have a location to speak to.

REPORTER: Well, let me just try a different way. I mean, has any neurologist --

JEAN-PIERRE: And, you know, and you also know that the president does go to Walter Reed to do, to do --


JEAN-PIERRE: -- right, to do to do these, to do this, his physical exam.

REPORTER: Well, has the neurologist -- I'm not talking about anyone in particular, regardless of the identity, name of that person, has any neurologist came to the White House to visit President Biden?

JEAN-PIERRE: What I can tell you during those exams, but he -- that we have been able to do every year for the past three years and they use a comprehensive exams that we share, comprehensive report that we share with all of you, he has seen in neurologist.

REPORTER: That's what I try to clarify. It seems like those were taken at Walter Reed. That's a coordinate station.

JEAN-PIERRE: You -- you all know that he does indeed go to Walter Reed as part as his physical exam? That is no secret. That is something that he does.

And I also confirmed that he sees a neurologist every time that he's done this, these exams. I don't have anything beyond.



REPORTER: Karine, as we're talking -- as we're talking, as everyone's talking about neurological issues, this is different but kind of one at the same page.

The president has had two aneurysms, okay? And there are complications from aneurysms to include impaired short-term memory, inability to concentrate as though the speech difficulty. Have any neurologist worked with him or just trying to observe him as he used a person who has suffered from two aneurysms that could have been fatal?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, April in the -- in the comprehensive reporting that we share with all of you, on a yearly basis, the neurological exam have been detailed, extremely detailed. It is directly from the doctor. They talk about the specifics of that neurological exam.

And so I would refer you to the sixth page comprehensive memo and that's what I refer you to.

REPORTER: But that is something that we know about, that he had to aneurysm.


REPORTER: And that is part -- all of those complications are part of a neurological exam. Had they tested for that at all?

JEAN-PIERRE: What I can tell you is that the exams have been detailed, they have been extensive, and that's what I can share with you. I would refer you to the today to the document, to the report.

REPORTER: Question, with just days away from the Republican Convention, how do you is this White House who stands behind this president? How do you work to do an image change or an image change to revamp him to make them shiny or brighter, if you will?

JEAN-PIERRE: So I'm not going to speak to the Republican convention.That's something that I'm not going to do, but I am going to --

REPORTER: But you attacked them.

JEAN-PIERRE: Wait. Hold on. Wait, hold on a second. Hold on. Give me a second.

Look, in the past ten days, the president has gone to six states. He has. He's gone to North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania. I know that's a commonwealth, but he's been to six.


And in that time, he has engaged directly -- directly with the American public. And you've seen the enthusiasm. You've seen the energy. He's being able to talk to them directly. And talk about his goals for the future, talk about what he's done in the past three-and- a-half years.

They have and they have heard specifically from him on even his health, even the debate, and I think that's important too.

So -- and you just heard me lay out the next two weeks. So, the president is going to continue to go out there. He's going to continue to be present in the communities. He's going to continue to hear directly from the American people and that's the best way to do this. That's the best way to get out there. That's the best way to make sure that you have your finger on the pulse, and that the American gets people get to see you for themselves.

REPORTER: You don't speak to the Republican convention. What about the Democratic convention?

JEAN-PIERRE: I can't speak to Democratic convention, I can't speak to that. That's for the --

REPORTER: Like how --

JEAN-PIERRE: No, but you're asking me to speak to two things that I can't speak to from here. That is something that the campaign and the convention can speak to very, very --

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) badly right at the --

JEAN-PIERRE: April, you may not like my answer, but I'm telling you the president's going to continue to go out there. We just -- I just shared with you at the top a robust plan that the president has to be out there, whether it is in Vegas, whether it's in Texas, and let's not forget the other states that he's visited in the last ten days -- in the last ten days, there's a stark difference from what we've been doing and what the other side is doing. Stark difference.

And so, the president is committed. He's going to continue to do that. He wants to engage -- engage directly with the American people, 600 people at the church yesterday, 600 people at the event in Harrisburg.

That's a pretty good start. And that's just a continuation. It's actually not a start. It's a continuation.

Go ahead, Josh?

REPORTER: Is it still the administration's policy that physicals are done annually?

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes. That is -- that is -- just like every other president has done before this president. We're going to continue to uphold that.

REPORTER: So, it would fair to assume that as of now, he's next expected physical would be next year.

JEAN-PIERRE: It would be next year. The last one was in February.

REPORTER: Can you clarify for us? Forgive me. I might have missed it by design. He will or he won't put a health form (ph).

JEAN-PIERRE: Say that one more time?

REPORTER: He will or he won't put --

JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, I don't have any engagement to share. As you know, NATO is front of mind. That's what he's focused on. You saw that letter that came out from the president.

He's going to be focusing on the more than 30 world leaders that are coming -- that coming here for the 75th anniversary of NATO, continuing to show the strength of our alliance. I think it is -- I think it is something that the presence very much looking forward to. And you'll certainly hear from the president on Thursday when he gives his press conference, his big boy press conferences, your colleague Justin has stated know many times.

REPORTER: We shouldn't then some sort of big reach push to members of the Democratic --

JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, I -- we have shared, I just shared that he has done dozens of calls out, not just calls, but also face-to-face as he did in Pennsylvania, his -- his team, campaign side, they're going to do their thing. We're going to do our thing on our side and he respects tremendously Congress. And so he's in regular contact with them and that's what you're going to continue to see.

All right. Thanks, everybody. Thanks, everyone.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: You've been watching White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Prior to that White House national security spokesman, John Kirby, answering questions about President Biden, mental fitness, doctor visits, and more.

I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington. Thanks so much for joining me today on CNN NEWSROOM.

A number of highlights from those comments from the White House press secretary there. She said definitively that President Biden has not been treated for Parkinson's disease. He's not being treated for Parkinson's disease and is not taking medication.

The reason for those pointed questions were a series of stories, first, "The New York Times", then here on CNN, that a Parkinson's specialist had been seen visiting the White House as revealed by the public visitor logs.

Jean-Pierre said that President Biden has seen a neurologist three times during his presidency, but all of those visits during his annual physical. What was not clear was were these neurologists visits, these Parkinson's specialist visits, tied it all to the president.

Jean-Pierre made the point that there are many staff on the grounds of the White House, including military personnel who are under the care of White House doctors. On that questioning then though, some lack of clarity.

CNN's Isaac Dovere joins me now.

I mean, we should be clear. Isaac, that an answer to the question, does the president have Parkinson's disease?


Has he been diagnosed as such? Is he being treated as such? The clear answer was no, repeatedly.

But the open question remains why this Parkinson's specialist has been visiting the White House and was there any connection there?

And as you watched and I watched some quite heated exchanges between the press secretary and the press corps.

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Yeah, look, there is not a clear answer that the White House is going to give on this, they say, because there are national security concerns, concerns about the privacy of the people who are under the White House physician's care that is more than just the president himself.

But I do think it is important to keep coming back to she answered very directly and fully about this question of whether the president has been treated for Parkinson's or is being treated Parkinson's right now. And the answer was no, no.

SCIUTTO: No question, and by the way, an admission that the president has seen a neurologist, but during his regular physical exams, which would be considered somewhat normal or expected given his age and given the powerful position that he retains.

On the separate issue here, Isaac, that we've been covering since the CNN debate as to where pressure stands now against the president to move out of the race, you've had a number, but not a large number of Democratic lawmakers go public to say -- he should he should withdraw.

The president himself has been quite clear. He's staying in. Has the discussion of his coming off the ticket cooled off somewhat since peaking perhaps towards the end of last week?

DOVERE: I don't think it's cooled off at all. You had a number of members of Congress who have spoken out already. But more who have not spoken out. And I think it's important to point out here, there is a sizable group of people who believed that Biden should stay on the ticket who have not issued statements, so that effect yet, not spoken out of it. There's also a sizable amount who believed that he should step aside, who have not made that public yet.

And what's going on is they were away last week back in their districts talking to constituents, especially members of the House of Representatives, 213 Democrats there, and they have now started to come back to Washington. They will have votes this evening in Washington, and they are starting to talk to each other even more than they were over the break.

What is coming is a meeting tomorrow morning, Tuesday morning of the entire Democratic Caucus, which many people believe could be a real turning point moment one way or the other for House Democrats. Reporting that I've done, I've got to store up on our side about this, is about Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader, and how many people are looking to him to either guide them toward saying, we've got to stay unified and be behind Biden or guide them toward empowering him, essentially, to say to Joe Biden, there is not supporting the caucus for you, and it is time to step aside for your sake and for the sake of House Democrats and other candidates who are trying to win seats in the majority.

SCIUTTO: Right. To be clear, though, in advance of that meeting, the president sent a letter to House Democrats saying, in part the following, I'm quoting here: The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now, and it's time for it to end. We have one job and that is to beat Donald Trump.

The president who is, by the way, the sitting president and the candidate, the nominee, and the leader of the party, he's saying this conversation has to end.

Do they listen to him?

DOVERE: That letter made a difference to some people, but one member of Congress that I spoke to said, the point is not whether there can be a letter produced and we don't know who produced a letter, but the point is, can we see him doing the job?

There are a number of them that would like him to come to that meeting on Tuesday morning on the Hill, talk to them directly, or they just have been saying things like we need to see more of the president, we need to see him doing more interviews, more off-the-cuff things, more than -- the things that he did not do for about a week after the debate. And then started to do over Friday and Sunday and sorry -- yeah, Friday and Sunday. And they say he will be doing more of he's got the speech and NATO tomorrow, a press conference on Thursday and then more campaigning on Friday.

But it's still not a robust campaign schedule in part because he has these official duties to do. It's just leaving a lot of House Democrats and a lot of other for Democrats with a lot of remaining open-ended questions.

SCIUTTO: Well, the White House to look and understandably so those public fora at the NATO summit as an opportunity to show the president -- they hope at his best and if they're not campaign events specifically, Isaac Dovere. Thanks so much.

DOVERE: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Joining me now to discuss, Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright, and CNN senior political commentator and former special assistant to President George W. Bush, Scott Jennings.

Good to have you both on.

Antjuan, you are watching that White House press conference there. We should make clear. The press secretary speaking for the administration said the president has not been treated for Parkinson's, is not being treated for Parkinson's, and is not taking medication.


But on the question of this neurologist visits -- visits by the neurologist to the White House, hid behind something of a medical privacy issue was which is understandable. It is true that doctors in the White House, they treat a number of patients. There are many hundreds of people who work there, including military members.

But was the answer from Karine Jean-Pierre on that question satisfying to you? ANTJUAN SEAWRIGHT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think she answered

the question based on wet she has in front of her, the information she's been given. So I don't think you can expect more for the press secretary to do or to lean in on, but to answer the question directly based on what she has in front of her. I think reporters have to understand that she has a job to do in her official duties. There's some questions that will be obviously answered from a political perspective, outside of that podium.

But you have to trust those who at the podium in the same way four years ago, whether information was true and not in retrospect, many people trusted the word of the press secretaries who served on the former President Trump. That's a traditional practice, it is. And I think we have to govern ourselves accordingly when they speak.

SCIUTTO: And sometimes, they're trusted and sometimes, let's be frank, they didn't or even the words of White House doctors during the Trump administration, for instance, during his treatment -- treatment for COVID, but also other times he visited Walter Reed and some questions were left open.

Scott, as you were hearing that press conference there, first from John Kirby who we should note, he said that in his interactions with the president that he has not seen any loss of ability to do the job. But do you think that the White House gave satisfying answers to the questions today?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think Karine Jean- Pierre blew all of her remaining credibility a few weeks ago when she went to the podium and told the press and the American people not to believe any videos of Joe Biden, called them cheap fakes. I mean, called into question, you know, what we were all seen with our own eyes. I think at that point, she spent at all, you know? That's where all the credibility went.

So, when she says things today, when she's having back-and-forth with the press today, I don't believe any of it. I mean, at best, she's out of the loop. At worst, you know, I think she's -- I think she's -- she's cost herself her own credibility.

So, no, one of this satisfies me. I mean, there's been a three-and-a- half year effort to obfuscate and cover up the condition of the president of the United States. So am I satisfied by a press conference today from Karine Jean-Pierre? No, of course not.

SCIUTTO: Antjuan, fair criticism?

SEAWRIGHT: No, I think Scott has a different interpretation of what we saw today. At the end of the day, what we have to compare her time at the podium today, too, is the four years under President Trump, and we saw a rinse and repeat of lies and misrepresent -- misrepresentation of the truth on a consistent basis.

I think the answer will be in the future or whether or not she was direct enough to satisfy not only the journalist question, but quite frankly to the American people, elections are decided by voters not by what happens in a press, press room at the White House, not what happens in terms of dialogue between Scott and I.

And so, the voters will be the ultimate judge on how effective she answered the question. In my opinion, I think she did to the best of her ability, but ultimately, in November, voters were ultimately decide that the same way they decided that about former President Trump at the ballot box in 2020.

SCIUTTO: Scott, I want to talk about another issue, because this has raised question on the other side of the ballot regarding Donald Trump. You're well aware of this project 225, which is billed as something as a blueprint for a second possible second Trump term.

Trump on unsolicited, tweeted a couple of days ago that he had no involvement with this, didn't even know what it was when we know that many people quite close to the president are involved in Project 2025. Do you find it credible that President Trump, one, doesn't know about this, and two is not invested with some of the positions in this plan?

JENNINGS: I think the presidents positions on issues are reflected in the RNC platform, which was adopted today. I think that's what he's running on. And so, this think tank document, I mean, do I think Donald Trump probably agrees with some of it? Yeah. Do I think he disagrees with some of it? Yeah.

And I don't really consider it to be any different than think tanks on the left that are constantly producing policies. Sometimes they're adopted by the Democratic White House, sometimes they aren't. That's what think tanks do.

And think tanks and documents aren't running for president, Donald Trump is. And I think he spoke clearly today with his platform at the RNC. And if you want to find out what he's running on, I would suggest you look at his own document, not the document of other people who weren't on the ballot.

SCIUTTO: But let's be frank though, this is not a think tank on the planet Mars, right? I mean, this is a document and a group that involves several former Trump administration officials.

I wonder, Antjuan, when you read the details of Project 2025, do you see a plan for a second Trump term?


SEAWRIGHT: Oh, now, I see the blueprint. It's a right-wing manifesto of blueprint for extremism on paper. Sadly, the Heritage Foundation and Trumps supporters are unapologetic about putting this document on paper and revealing it to the American people.

I think it's actually dishonest for Scott to say that this does not reflect the way the former president thinks when this summer, his senior advisors and some of his most loyal disciples who are certainly ingrained into this project and pushing the narrative from this project. We've been seeing the former president regurgitate some of the language from Project 2025, and so, I think we have to be very honest about the extreme policy positions that have come from Trump. I call it Trumpism, if you will.

And I think that the president will continue to cut off in play footsie with this and the closer we get to the election, and the more he wants to calcify his base even stronger and rally the troops on his side, those who pledged their allegiance to Trumpism and extremism, the more you're going to see he and others from the Republican Party leaned in even more because they're unapologetic about this right-wing red meat racist document that's floating around.

SCIUTTO: Antjuan Seawright, Scott Jennings, we'd have to leave it there for today, but we'll have opportunities in the future to discuss these issues. They're not going away. Thanks so much to both of you.

Coming up, a story we're following closely today, a deadly Russian attack on a Kyiv children's hospital. It comes one day before the NATO summit kicks off. In the midst of talk from Vladimir Putin and others of peace -- well, the contrast was clear. We'll have more coming up.


SCIUTTO: Just a horrendous and bloody day in Ukraine today. At least 36 people killed, more than 100 others injured by Russian missile strikes across Ukraine.

The targets included a children's hospital in Kyiv that was hit during a rare day time attack.


Residential buildings, other facilities also badly damaged. You could see one of the strikes there. Ukrainian officials say the hospital attack will not go, quote, without answer.

This comes a day before President Biden hosts some of America's closest allies for the NATO summit here in Washington, D.C. The White House says talks will largely focused on increasing support for Ukraine and the question of the country's path towards eventually perhaps joining the alliance.

For on this, I want to bring him Kimberly Dozier, CNN global affairs analyst.

I have to imagine that questions about Biden's future as the Democratic nominee, which we should note he has set aside, he's saying he's going to be the nominee, but the questions about a stamina and leadership persist, that that's going to be at the top of people's minds this week.

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Absolutely. It is the first question I get from every foreign official I meet. Wherever it is, if I meet them in the line at the coffee shop or at some professional briefing, and some European officials have been pretty blunt in giving background briefings to reporters. They've said, look, everything could change with if -- if president

Trump is re-elected in the fall, former President Trump because they don't know that Europe will be able to go it alone. And they say Ukraine is aware of this, too, and that's why this NATO meeting this week is so crucial, because they're going to try to front-load as much support and lay down as many promises possible to make it hard for whoever gets elected in the fall to pull out of it.

SCIUTTO: Hard but not impossible. And I've had former senior Trump administration officials tell me that in a second term, Trump very likely would to pull pulled out of NATO.

So I wonder when you speak to European officials because I'll ask the same question, don't necessarily get a straight answer. Are they developing a national security plan in case that were to happen? Because if they can't rely on the U.S. to abide by Article Five or too, in effect, extent -- extend its nuclear umbrella over Europe, they need a whole new security plan, are they building one?

DOZIER: In short, they're trying, but some of the major participants in that would be planned, include countries like France and France just had an earthquake of an election, which while they didn't have the far right Le Pen led party take over, they do have a divided parliament.

And while Emmanuel Macron remains president, he can't do some of the more far reaching things that he'd hoped for like possibly putting French training troops on the ground inside Ukraine to increase Ukraine's lethality. He's got to tread more carefully with this divided Congress and with this divided lawmaker body.

And we've got places like Britain, which is resolved that its support is strong, but 99 percent of the military support to Ukraine comes from NATO. And a large portion of that comes from the U.S. So pull the U.S. out and look, right now, you have Ukrainian officials telling European officials that the situation is very fragile. That they have stopped the losses, but they don't have any delusions of taking territory from Russia. So any portion of that military aid gets cut off there. They're going to go back to slowly losing territory and Moscow knows that.

SCIUTTO: Listen, the experience in the U.S. for the sixth, seventh month delay in renewing U.S. military support for Ukraine is telling one for France, right? Because you still had majorities in both parties in this country who supported in the minority and the Republican Party held it up until it just barely got over the finish line.

You have arguably similar circumstances in France with a divided parliament going forward and France has been one of Ukraine's biggest supporters.

DOZIER: Exactly, and just today, you've got as a counterpoint, the Indian leader Modi, landing in Moscow, meeting with Vladimir Putin, a man who, according to European officials, is quite comfortable in terms of, he has secured his military supply lines. It did take going to North Korea and China and Iran. But what he's managed to do according to these officials is build up Russian manufacturing to the point that he can just keep a low grade war going at Ukraine's borders to destabilize the country and to steal from the coffers of all the Western countries, having to fund this, so that he can stay in neutral and continue to cause problems while the U.S., et cetera, is trying to secure it support for Ukraine.


SCIUTTO: But to be clear, the concern about a Russian breakthrough around Kharkiv around the time just before U.S. aid was restarted, it hasn't netted the gains that some had feared and by Western accounts, it seems that the cost and Russian lives has been enormous in that attempted push in the northeast, as we show pictures again at a horrible strike inside Kyiv today.

DOZIER: It hasn't noted that type of territorial gain. But what you hear from Ukrainian troops on the ground, the reports are that the Russians are using a scorched-earth policy. They are flattening any towns near them that they can't take. And you see what happened today, 40 various aerial strikes across the country I hear from reporters in Kyiv that electricity is down to 12 hours a day, and that is before when winter comes, this is going to be so much worse.

Right now, it means you can't keep your refrigerator running or your air conditioner running in a warm capital, it's going to mean people in deathly freezing cold temperatures. And that's all part of Putin strategy, just to keep wearing the Ukrainians down.

SCIUTTO: That's why they dropped so many missiles, not just on children's hospitals, but on power stations. It's deliberate. Punish the civilian population.

Kim Dozier, thanks as always.

And thanks so much to all of you for joining me today. It's another busy one. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington.