Like the vain mob boss that he is, Donald Trump dispatches goons to steal medical records from a doctor who had prescribed hair growth drugs

The man pictured above is Dr. Harold Bornstein. Prior to the 2016 election, he was Donald Trump’s personal physician, a title that, if I’m not mistaken, he had held for several decades. He was, if you’ll recall, the man who put our collective mind at ease back in December, 2015, when he announced that, despite what our eyes might had told us, Donald Trump was a physical specimen the likes of which mankind rarely sees. “His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary,” Bornstein said in his public report on Trump’s health. “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Well, as it turns out, Bornstein didn’t write that letter. In an interview with CNN this afternoon, the doctor – who looks to me like Bruce Vilanch playing Dr. Lawrence Jacoby in a community theater production of Twin Peaks – said that Trump “dictated that whole letter.”

And here’s the crazy thing. This isn’t even Bornstein’s most shocking reveal over the past 24 hours, as, prior to talking with CNN, he let it be known that, this past February – two days after he’d told a newspaper that he’d prescribed a hair growth medication for his former patient – his office was raided by three men, who absconded with Trump’s medical records. These men, according to Bornstein, were Trump’s long-time bodyguard Keith Schiller, Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten, and a third unidentified and intimidating “large man.”

White House smokey-eyed spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today that this was nothing out of the ordinary. It was just “standard operating procedure,” she said.

Sadly, I think Sanders is probably right about this being standard operating procedure… maybe not for a president of the United States, but certainly for a low-level mob boss the likes of Donald Trump.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Totally normal. Name one president who hasn’t sent enforcers to strong arm doctors out of patient medical records.

  2. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    The doctor felt raped when Trump sent an attorney and two other men to the doctor’s office, to get Trump’s medical records, two days after the doctor told media sources about a medical (hair loss) treatment he had been giving Trump? The doctor was blabbing illegally (?) about Trump. Why wouldn’t Trump demand his own private records to be handed over when that trust was broken?

  3. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I think simply asking for the records might suffice, but sending “muscle” to retrieve them is what mob bosses do, not Presidential candidates.

  4. Demetrius
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    It won’t be so amusing when Trump sends his private goons to raid the FBI, or the Justice Department, or CNN …

  5. M
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Who can forget that time when Obama sent Van Jones, flanked by a pair of imposing armed men, into the administrative offices of Columbia University to secure his academic records?

  6. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Obama sent his dance troupe/private army instead.

  7. Twitter Bot
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Female employee who works for Dr. Bornstein says she was in the office alone at 7AM & called the doctor to tell him she was scared because 3 men were here.

  8. Meta
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Washington Post: “Trump’s medical deceptions should be a scandal”

    “Trump disseminated false medical records to fool the public about his health.” That is a headline you have never seen, though you should have.

    If you’ve gotten tired of hearing how something President Trump did would have been a major or even career-ending scandal for any other candidate, I sympathize. But that fatigue is exactly the problem, because from the beginning of his run for president, Trump has been treated not just by different rules but by rules that indulge his most dangerous tendencies.

    Yet at the same time, we allow him to manipulate us into chasing false charges he makes against other people. And if we don’t realize how pernicious this is, we’re going to keep making the same mistakes, especially in 2020 when Trump will have a Democratic opponent to slander.

    As you may have heard by now, NBC News reported: “In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump’s New York doctor without notice and took all the president’s medical records.”

    That “New York doctor” is Trump’s former physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, the source of the account. The “longtime personal bodyguard” is Keith Schiller, at the time a White House staffer.

    This appears to be a clear violation of the law. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) they would have had to present Bornstein with a special form in which Trump authorized them to receive copies of his records, which they didn’t. They certainly wouldn’t be allowed to rifle through a doctor’s records and seize the originals, which is how Bornstein described what happened, calling it a “raid.”

    Bornstein himself may have committed a HIPAA violation when he told the New York Times that he had prescribed a hair-growth drug for Trump. That article ran two days before Schiller’s visit to his office, suggesting the article (and Trump’s inevitable rage over it) is what prompted the visit.

    The White House insists this is no big deal. Spokesperson Sarah Sanders said: “It would be standard procedure for the newly elected president’s medical records to be in possession by the White House medical unit, and that was what was taking place — is those records were being transferred over to the White House medical unit as requested.”

    But that doesn’t seem true either. They could have just asked for a copy of Trump’s records to be sent over so he could be properly treated by the White House medical unit. Sending Trump’s bodyguard to New York to seize the originals is an entirely different matter.

    In addition, Bornstein now admits that when he wrote a letter in December 2015 attesting to Trump’s good health, he was actually taking dictation from Trump himself.

    Now here’s why this is important. At the time, everyone understood that was exactly what happened. The letter was not something any trained physician would write, and it was written in Trump’s distinctive sixth-grade braggadocio. It said “Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results,” that Trump’s blood work was “astonishingly excellent,” that “His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary,” and finally, that “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” It could not have been more obvious that Trump was the actual author of the letter if it had been signed “Donald J. Trump, I mean Harold Bornstein.”

    If Hillary Clinton had done that we would have been apoplectic, and rightfully so. But at the time, everyone treated the whole thing almost as a joke. Trump should certainly be more forthcoming, reporters said, but here’s this wacky-looking doctor with long hair writing this absurd letter, isn’t that hilarious! Well yes, it was comical. But what a presidential candidate was hiding his medical situation from the public. And not any candidate, but the candidate who would become the oldest president ever elected, and who seems to eat nothing but fast food.

    Yet at the very same time, the press not only treated Hillary Clinton’s health as a matter of utmost seriousness, it was quick to accuse her of being overly secretive and dishonest about it.

    You may remember that in September of 2016, Clinton had a bout of pneumonia. At a September 11 memorial event on a hot day, she got lightheaded as she was headed toward her car, stumbling and being caught by aides. The reaction from the press was to treat it as an absolutely momentous event that not only raised profound questions about her fitness to be president but also showed how sneaky and deceitful she was for not announcing the illness to the press the moment it was diagnosed.

    Read more:

  9. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Of course, the Trump supporters refuse to believe that their guy could at all be unscrupulous despite having made a brand out of it over the course of decades.

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