Donald Trump appeared to slur his words while giving a speech declaring that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.


The president gave a historic speech on Wednesday, but many were focused specifically on his words. Some took to Facebook and Twitter to note that Trump’s speech pattern changed and he began to slur his words. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, studied the video of Trump’s speech multiple times. “There is clearly some abnormalities of his speech,” he said. “You could call it slurring or just a little bit of difficulty forming the words.”

Speech pathologist Michael de Riesthal agrees that, “there was definitely more imprecise progressive change in articulatory precision and slowing of his speech that is not typical in normal speech.” He also notes that the distortion is particularly noticeable when the president says “United States.”

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Spokesman Raj Shah told the Los Angeles Times that the president simply had a case of “dry mouth.”

Slurred speech, or dysarthria, could occur for a number of reasons. Alcohol or drug use could cause it, as could medical problems such as a brain tumor or stroke. Various disabilities caused slurred speech, but so would faulty dental work or an ill-fitting denture.

Gupta notes that for most of the speech, the first 10-11 minutes, Trump’s speaking was normal. After the speech, he walked to a desk and signed a proclamation with normal motor function. “All of that is relevant because he doesn’t appear to have any motor weakness,” Gupta adds. The doctor believes the slur came from simple mouth issues. “I noticed that he clears his mouth after finishing speaking, so whether that was a dry mouth or a misplaced dental issue is unclear, but given everything else, that is a much more likely cause of that,” he said.

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