Donald Trump Dismisses Health Concerns Before 74th Birthday After Fragile Steps at West Point Graduation Speech

President Donald Trump defended his slow descent from a stage following his speech at West Point as speculation suggested his movement was a sign of his declining health.

Trump appeared uneasy as he walked down a ramp after his speech to U.S. Military Academy graduates on Saturday before regaining his composure when he reached the bottom.

In a tweet, the president downplayed suggestions that he struggled to walk down the slope and bizarrely insisted he ran the final 10 feet.

"The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery," Trump wrote Saturday night.

"The last thing I was going to do is 'fall' for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!"

The clip was widely shared on social media, with many expressing concerns about the president's lack of movement on his right side and small steps he took while walking down the ramp. Another clip during the speech shows Trump using two hands to lift a glass of water to his lips, which also fueled speculation also his ailing health.

"The uneven gait is something I have remarked at least since his fall visit to Walter Reed, and a forward-leaning posture is associated with the difficulty holding a cup. Note that there has not been an annual report on his health this year," tweeted Dr. Bandy Lee, a Yale psychiatrist. "All this having been said, I am not as concerned about these very concerning physical signs as I am about his mental health."

On Sunday—the day of the president's 74th birthday—hundreds of thousands of people tweeted using the #TrumpIsUnwell hashtag, making it one of the top trending topics on Twitter.

George Conway, frequent Trump critic and husband of White House Counsellor Kellyanne Conway, tweeted: "Mr. President, thank you for now ensuring that tens of millions more Americans will see the videos of you unsteadily walking on the ramp and lifting a glass of water with two hands, and will wonder what they don't know about your physical and mental condition. #TrumpIsNotWell"

Bill Palmer, of the political blog The Palmer Report, added: "Trump's right arm no longer works, his cognitive abilities are failing, he can barely walk anymore, he looks and sounds half dead. Yet now he's claiming that it was all because the ramp was too 'steep.' This might be his dumbest day yet. #TrumpIsNotWell"

You're tweeting a *brag* about walking down a ramp?
You're tweeting a *brag* about walking down a ramp?
You're tweeting a *brag* about walking down a ramp?
You're tweeting a *brag* about walking down a ramp?
You're tweeting a *brag* about walking down a ramp?#TrumpIsUnwell

— Claude Rains💥🌲💥🌳💥 (@louis_renault) June 14, 2020

He looks like a country girl wearing heels for the first time clomping down an escalator in Vegas. #TrumpIsUnwell https://t.co/EYHL1nyc6S

— The Good Apple (@WhatGoodApple) June 14, 2020

He looks like a country girl wearing heels for the first time clomping down an escalator in Vegas. #TrumpIsUnwell https://t.co/EYHL1nyc6S

— The Good Apple (@WhatGoodApple) June 14, 2020

Always a tweet. Always. #TrumpIsUnwell #TrumpIsNotWell https://t.co/OdA6JoBaGn

— Melissa D (@MADinNYC) June 14, 2020

Remember when @realDonaldTrump mocked Little @marcorubio fumbling for water during an important speech. What goes around comes around, Little Donald! TWO HANDS to steady a tiny glass of water, huh? Seems very weak. unstable & infirm.#TrumpIsUnwell#TrumpIsNotWell#OBAMADAYJUNE14 pic.twitter.com/ewx5ymXNQ5

— Jimmy Kokinakes (@JimmyKokinakes) June 14, 2020

Something is wrong with Trump. Twice he couldn’t get the water glass raised to his mouth without 2 hands. https://t.co/ah36paPnAt pic.twitter.com/0uUTyWTmUk

— Citizen Servant ▶️ (@citizenservant) June 13, 2020

Because you have a phobia of stairs. Everybody knows it. Theresa May talked about it publicly. I put it in my movie. If you can prove it isn’t true, then sue me. Stop killing Black people. #TrumpIsNotWell pic.twitter.com/iLahNQ0ZEs

— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) June 14, 2020

This is not the first time that questions about Trump's ability to walk down slopes have been raised. In January 2017, Trump was photographed holding then British Prime Minister Theresa May's hand as they walked together at The White House.

British media speculated that Trump held onto May's hand for support and that the president has a fear of falling down stairs or slopes—a condition known as bathmophobia.

"He hates heights where you can see the ground or sharp inclines even more than germs," a U.S. government source told The Daily Mail. "He particularly dislikes staircases and his biggest nightmare of all is a dirty stair rail."

In November 2017, a video of Trump awkwardly pausing a speech at the White House to take a sip from a water bottle, again using two hands to do so, also went viral.

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U.S. President Donald Trump at the end of the commencement ceremony on June 13, 2020 in West Point, New York. David Dee Delgado/Getty