Donald Trump Has 'Severe Memory Issues,' Says Author Who Interviewed Him at Length: 'He Couldn't Even Remember Me'

Journalist Ramin Setoodeh, who spoke with Trump six times for his new book, claims that the former president "had a vacant look on his face" trying to remember him during a follow-up interview

<p>James Devaney/GC Images; Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock</p> Donald Trump (left) was interviewed at length by journalist Ramin Setoodeh (right)

James Devaney/GC Images; Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Donald Trump (left) was interviewed at length by journalist Ramin Setoodeh (right)

Donald Trump’s cognitive health is making headlines for the second time in a matter of days. This time, the issue was raised by an author who interviewed him extensively for a new book.

Variety editor-in-chief Ramin Setoodeh — who wrote Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass — claims that Trump had trouble remembering him, despite the long conversations they shared.

During a June 17 appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Setoodeh said he began interviewing the former president for his book in 2021. He added that he spoke with Trump, 78, six times.

“Donald Trump had severe memory issues," Setoodeh claimed. “As the journalist who spent the most time with him, I have to say, he couldn’t remember things. He couldn’t even remember me."

Related: Donald Trump's Fixation with Former The Apprentice Contestant Jennifer Murphy Explored in New Book (Exclusive)

Setoodeh said that they spoke for an hour in May 2021, and when they reunited a few months later for a follow-up conversation, Trump had a “vacant look on his face" and seemingly didn't recall the first interview.

Setoodeh noted that the former president wasn’t doing many other interviews around that time.

<p>Daniel Steinle/Bloomberg via Getty</p> Donald Trump during a campaign event on April 2, 2024

Daniel Steinle/Bloomberg via Getty

Donald Trump during a campaign event on April 2, 2024

The author emphasized the importance of voters knowing where Trump’s mental state might be.

“I think that the American public really needs to see this portrait of Donald Trump," Setoodeh continued, "because this shows what he is like and who he is and who he has always been."

Responding to Setoodeh's claims, Trump 2024 communications director Steven Cheung went on the offensive, denying that his boss has memory problems.

"President Trump was aware of who this individual was throughout the interview process, but this ‘writer’ is a nobody and insignificant so of course he never made an impression," Cheung told PEOPLE in a statement. "After recognizing the importance of The Apprentice and its significant cultural impact on a global scale, this ‘writer’ has now chosen to allow Trump Derangement Syndrome to rot his brain like so many other losers whose entire existence revolves around President Trump."

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Days before Setoodeh weighed in on Trump's memory, the Republican presidential candidate mixed up the name of the White House physician who gave him a cognitive exam.

While boasting his score on the 2018 cognitive exam over the weekend, he referred to Dr. Ronny Jackson — his former chief medical adviser — as Ronny Johnson.

Related: Donald Trump Says Die-Hard MAGA Fan Would Prioritize ‘Suicide over Biden’ During Las Vegas Rally

<p>AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster</p> Donald Trump greets then-White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson on Jan. 12, 2018

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Donald Trump greets then-White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson on Jan. 12, 2018

Following Trump’s tenure on The Apprentice from 2004 to 2015, NBC declined the longtime host's suggestion to have Ivanka Trump replace him. He was elected president the following year.

Setoodeh's book, Apprentice in Wonderland, focuses on how Trump became a reality television star, which ultimately catapulted him into the White House.

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