Trump's Former Physician Tells of Office "Raid" for Trump's Records

Remember Dr. Harold Bornstein, Trump's former physician who proclaimed candidate Trump "astonishingly healthy" ("If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency)? NBC reports he's talking now about how he felt violated ("raped" was the word he used)when Trump former bodyguard Keith Schiller and Trump Org. lawyer Alan Garten showed up at his office in Feb. 2017 and took all of Trump's medical files.

In an exclusive interview in his Park Avenue office, Bornstein told NBC News that he felt "raped, frightened and sad" when Keith Schiller and another "large man" came to his office to collect the president's records on the morning of Feb. 3, 2017. At the time, Schiller, who had long worked as Trump's bodyguard, was serving as director of Oval Office operations at the White House.

"They must have been here for 25 or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos," Bornstein said, who described the incident as frightening.

Why is he talking now? Because he's delighted that Ronny Jackson is no longer going to be White House physician (a position he had wanted): [More...]

Bornstein said he is speaking out now after seeing reports that Ronny Jackson, who has allegedly been called "the candy man" for loosely prescribing pain medications as White House doctor, will not return to his post after being considered to run the Veterans Administration. "This is like a celebration for me," he said.

According to Bornstein, his Trump transgression was publicly stating he prescribed a hair-growing drug to Trump. That day, he received a phone call from Trump's long time assistant at Trump Org., Rhonda Graff, who told him, "So you wanted to be the White House doctor? Forget it, you're out." Two days later, Bornstein says, Schiller and Garten and a team raided his office.

My favorite thing about Bornstein is the photo of his computer, showing he was still using Windows XP in 2016, two years after Microsoft ended support for it.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I have never been raped (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 01, 2018 at 04:39:36 PM EST
    Or for that matter had files taken from me but I am skeptical there are really that similar

    I would (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 01, 2018 at 07:37:20 PM EST
    like for Borenstein to explain EXACTLY why he let Trump dictate that letter. I'm guessing the doctor has something that Trump could blackmail him with much like it's become apparent that he had something on Ronny to get him to write that letter. Strange how both doctor's letters sound exactly the same. Of course they do because Trump wrote both of them.

    Bornstein said.. (none / 0) (#10)
    by desertswine on Tue May 01, 2018 at 09:46:37 PM EST
    yeah, and it makes me wonder (none / 0) (#37)
    by leap on Wed May 02, 2018 at 06:20:26 PM EST
    who's going to end up head first in a wood chipper. I know who I'd like it to be.

    Jackson isn't a VA doctor, linea, (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Anne on Wed May 02, 2018 at 08:12:32 AM EST
    he was Director of the WH Medical Unit and the president's personal physician.

    And he's not a woman, so I don't quite understand the "she is rational and compassionate" part of your comment.

    The accusation, as I understand it, is that Jackson wasn't writing prescriptions, he was just handing out pills - big difference.  As in "no records of who was getting what, how much and how often."

    I hope you have something to do today.

    I thought (none / 0) (#41)
    by linea on Wed May 02, 2018 at 08:59:36 PM EST
    I thought the US President went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and was seen by a VA doctor.

    I was also under the impression that medical doctors often provide medication without first writing a prescription. They hand-out samples of medication provided by pharmaceutical representatives, for example. You can buy medication that requires a prescription at dermatology offices without the doctor first writing you a prescription.


    What??? Are you serious now? (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Anne on Thu May 03, 2018 at 07:35:29 AM EST
    This Ronny Jackson thing has been all over the news for weeks, and quite clearly and often identified him as head of the WH Medical Unit and the president's physician.  He was never associated with the VA.

    Walter Reed is a military medical center, not a VA hospital.

    Medical doctors do not hand out samples of opiates and scheduled drugs: they aren't allowed to do that.

    Last time I went to urgent care, I received several medications right there.  I wasn't handed a prescription, but the order for the medication was written into my records.  I did however, need a prescription for the cough medicine with codeine, and had to go to my pharmacy to get it - because the urgent care (as with any doctor's office) is not allowed by law to dispense scheduled narcotics.

    Your fondness for research deserts you at the oddest times.


    As much as linea gets on my last nerve (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 08:22:55 AM EST
    And my discovering I was given an inferior foundations of modern literature education

    linea is right about a couple of things

    The President did receive his candyman physical at Walter Reed. Walter Reed does also provide services to Veterans even though it is not technically a VA hospital. Veterans can receive some services at most stateside active duty military hospitals, and that varies a lot. I believe at Fort Rucker they could get some immunizations. But it is a hodge podge patchwork at the active duty hospitals that a veteran can access.

    Ronny Jackson is an active duty officer, as is the doctor who is being promoted to replace him and all the staff of the White House medical unit. The White House unit is under the Walter Reed structure. That is why something is also amiss that they aren't receiving their meds from Walter Reed and they are ordering directly from suppliers.

    And Ronny Jackson is being dealt with as swiftly as the President will allow the military. I suspect he will be retiring soon. He has been demoted from lead White Hoyse physician. This is a terrible military embarrassment. They want it over ASAP.

    I think the candyman has been pumping Trump full of a lot of Provigil. And Trump loves Ronny for it. And I think that is giving us an even more manic Trump.

    Trump keeps talking about high energy...I'm like yeah...you're HIGH energy alright.

    Provigil has not shown to have any long term undesirable affect on military pilots using it. That is a very youthful tested group though. I was worried about my spouse using it so I read up on it during Iraq. I found no studies on what it could do to a senior citizen though. It is an amphetamine type drug, and we now know the history of many other of those types of drugs and the elderly.


    Does this Provigil (none / 0) (#51)
    by smott on Sat May 05, 2018 at 12:42:57 PM EST
    Cause the patient to have a runny nose? I notice Trump sniffing and snorting like he just did a couple lines, such as in the debates. It's when he seems most manic.

    Is there a side effect like that?


    It can make tics surface (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 05, 2018 at 02:11:59 PM EST
    Or be more noticeable while using it. Is he sniffing again? It can cause anxiety and I remember reading his past sniffing might have been an anxious tic.

    looks like it is a bad idea (5.00 / 13) (#29)
    by leap on Wed May 02, 2018 at 11:09:27 AM EST
    to take medical advice from Dr. Linea, just as it not recommended to take legal advice from Counsel Linea, Esq.

    But she is a mythologist (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Towanda on Thu May 03, 2018 at 12:25:40 PM EST
    Finnish or otherwise.

    I have deleted comments with (none / 0) (#59)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 08, 2018 at 09:17:53 PM EST
    reference to multiple popular specific drugs like sleeping "aids" not only are they spam grabbers, but the comments sometimes show up in google searches as being by TL -- please use asterisks or numbers for some of the letters.

    When I first saw this story at TPM, (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Tue May 01, 2018 at 12:27:06 PM EST
    and then at NBC, the word "raid" made me think that Bornstein's office had been visited by law enforcement - not the case, as we know.

    Seems like, if people come into your office and demand that you produce your patient's medical records, which these people subsequently take with them, you haven't been "raided," you have been "robbed."

    From the NBC link:

    Bornstein said he was not given a form authorizing the release of the records and signed by the president --known as a HIPAA release -- which is a violation of patient privacy law. A person familiar with the matter said there was a letter to Bornstein from then-White House doctor Ronny Jackson, but didn't know if there was a release form attached.

    Honestly, is there anything that involves Trump that doesn't stink?

    "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right," has never been more true with this administration.

    From your link: (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue May 01, 2018 at 12:52:44 PM EST

    Is Trump's Doctor Violating HIPAA by Using Windows XP?

    Donald Trump's personal physician, Harold Bornstein, M.D., drew attention to his practice for using Windows XP, an operating system that has not been supported by Microsoft since 2014. Using Windows XP alone does not equate to a HIPAA violation. The security rule does not mandate minimum operating system requirements for covered entities. It does, however, set requirements for information systems that contain electronic protected health information. [...] When Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP along with security updates, it warned users that the "PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be protected, and it is important that you migrate to a current supported operating system . . ."

    From ABC news:

    After some raised questions online about the security of Bornstein's older Windows operating system seen in the interview, his wife who works in the office said Windows XP is not used for patient records and "we have no medical records online."

    WH is pushing back and (none / 0) (#3)
    by Anne on Tue May 01, 2018 at 02:19:56 PM EST
    saying it didn't go down the way Bornstein says.

    According to CNN: A source very familiar with what happened "said that the doctor overreacted, made a very big deal about the question and then couldn't get his photo copy machine to work."

    It's certainly different from what Bornstein described to NBC. But the description of Bornstein's reaction and the fact that Schiller left with the originals does not make it sound like this was a standard interaction. It sounds much more like they came in with demands. Bornstein freaked out. He was flustered enough that he was having a hard time making photo copies and Schiller left with the originals. Did Bornstein give his permission? Again, it doesn't sound that different.


    There's CNN video at the link (embedded, so it doesn't take you to the site itself).

    Here's the thing: I don't believe medical records belong to the patient, but to the provider, so the Trump thugs had no business taking the originals of the records, whether or not Bornstein couldn't make the copier work.  

    What would they have done if the records were computerized - taken the computer?  

    This is just going to get worse.

    This is absolutely correct: (none / 0) (#5)
    by vicndabx on Tue May 01, 2018 at 02:58:48 PM EST
    I don't believe medical records belong to the patient, but to the provider, so the Trump thugs had no business taking the originals of the records, whether or not Bornstein couldn't make the copier work.

    Whether this still applies when the records belong to the president is a question, IMO.  Presumably there'd be national security concerns.....

    Would be great if we had news orgs that gave us the facts around these questions.


    Does anyone have a reliable source on (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Peter G on Tue May 01, 2018 at 08:10:30 PM EST
    this issue? Maybe Molly Bloom or another TLer who is an actual medical doctor (iirc)? I know that a lawyer's files on a client's case "belong" to the client in the sense that you must give the file to the client if they request it. But at the same time it has always been my understanding that the client cannot forbid the lawyer to keep a copy of the file (at the lawyer's expense) for the lawyer's own records. Is the rule on medical files that different? I am pretty sure that the patient has an absolute right to a complete copy of their medical records on request. So the file "belongs" to the patient at least in that sense.

    reliable source (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by thomas rogan on Tue May 01, 2018 at 08:25:21 PM EST
    I am a forensic psychiatrist and am not without honor except in my country and among my own people (and on TL)
    That said, medical records are the property of the provider.  The provider has to produce copies of them to a patient or for anyone the patient designates within a reasonable time (often 30 days, varies by state) and is allowed to charge a reasonable fee.  

    thomas rogan (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MKS on Wed May 02, 2018 at 04:43:24 PM EST
    I think the "without honor" here is due to the "tenor" of your comments.  As a forensic psychiatrist, who espouses the views you do, I would have a thousand questions for you, starting with your acceptance or not of waterboarding and and the use of psychiatrists and psychologists to create the "enhanced interrogation" program.

    Come back on an Open Thread to discuss.


    I can't help it (none / 0) (#36)
    by jondee on Wed May 02, 2018 at 05:44:39 PM EST
    almost as soon as I hear politically conservative forensic psychiatrist, the image of Dr James Grigson, aka "Dr Death" pops into my head. Him and people like Dr Ewen Cameron.

    But, I'm sure I'm being unfair.


    Never unfair (none / 0) (#40)
    by MKS on Wed May 02, 2018 at 08:14:36 PM EST
    Not willing, however, to let the beasts roam without comment.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#13)
    by linea on Tue May 01, 2018 at 10:15:25 PM EST
    What does `and am not without honor` mean? I can't parse your sentence. Which is your country? Not that double negatives aren't fine. Sometimes they are used to stress a strong opposition or denial as in, `I ain't got no money!'

    It's a Biblical reference, Linea (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by Peter G on Tue May 01, 2018 at 11:30:08 PM EST
    From the Gospel According to Mark, in the New Testament. (See in particular, the King James version.) A pretty well-known expression, I would say, among educated people. And yes, a sophisticated construct in English syntax.

    Thank you! (2.00 / 3) (#18)
    by linea on Tue May 01, 2018 at 11:48:45 PM EST
    How am I supposed to know Bible verses? And it's not sophisticated; it's forced. This is particularly true when one considers the fact that the King James Bible was written to sound poetically archaic at the time it was written.

    King James Bible
    But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

    New Living Translation
    Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family."


    "How am I supposed to know (5.00 / 8) (#24)
    by Peter G on Wed May 02, 2018 at 09:54:17 AM EST
    Bible verses?"  The Bible (in particular the KJV), along with Shakespeare and Greek mythology, I would say off the top of my head, are at the absolute core of the shared vocabulary and conceptual architecture of written Western culture. I come from a non-religious family, never was a member of a church, temple or mosque, nor enrolled in religious education, and have no ancestors on either side, to my knowledge, who were Christians, but I recognized TR's quotation right away and understood how and why he was using it. If you want to claim to be an educated person in the Western world, and you didn't learn about the Bible as a child, I would say that finding a way (at University or whatever) to fill that fundamental knowledge gap would be essential. As this incident illustrates, it is entirely predictable that other people will make references of that sort and reasonably assume you will understand them.

    My perspective (none / 0) (#42)
    by linea on Wed May 02, 2018 at 11:49:43 PM EST
    A course of study in Bible verses, Shakespeare, and Greek mythology sounds more like required study at an English boarding school than a modern public education. I'm surprised you didn't include a Latin language requirement. I reject the assertion that Greek mythology is superior to, for example, Finnish mythology and I consider the King James Bible to be a specifically English work that certainly isn't part of a shared Western culture.

    Oh Dear (5.00 / 5) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 07:45:06 AM EST
    What? (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 08:30:11 AM EST
    Who isn't versed on Finnish Mythology?

    I mean I know a fair bit about it (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 08:43:54 AM EST
    But maybe Joseph Campbell is not everyone's hero and role model.

    That means (none / 0) (#26)
    by MKS on Wed May 02, 2018 at 10:23:48 AM EST
    Trump's goons committed an illegal act--looks like robbery (pushing people out of the way) and theft--Perhaps Peter might agree.

    Josh at TPM thinks this a big deal.

    Trump as leader of thugs.   Directing thuggish behavior.   Making the Watergate break-in look civilized.


    Actually not unlike (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Peter G on Wed May 02, 2018 at 10:48:36 AM EST
    the OJ "robbery" of his own memorabilia, which sent him to prison, now that you mention it. As I am not one to say "Lock him up!", I will just say, "Investigate fairly, and provide a fair trial!"

    As I understand (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MKS on Wed May 02, 2018 at 04:39:52 PM EST
    the O.J. Las Vegas robbery, one of O.J.'s friends had a handgun, and may have brandished it?

    Keith Schiller was undoubtedly armed, but may not have brandished his weapon. Nevertheless, if I remember my Bar Review Course right, (which is as they say a big "if"), under the Model Penal Code (heh, I am proud of myself for remembering the term "Model Penal Code") one commits robbery during the course of a theft, if he or she threatens or inflicts bodily harm, which would include verbal threats or physical touching. I saw what Keith Schiller did to Jorge Ramos, shoving him out the door.

    So, methinks, in all my scholastic glory as an authority on criminal law, that robbery may apply.  Keith Schiller going to jail a' la O.J.?  Ha!  And the Cheeto as authorizing or ratifying such an act would be a co-conspirator, no?

    So, the Cheeto could go down on a petty, two-bit robbery?   And this time, unlike Nixon and the Watergate burglary, he was part of the underlying robbery.

    No grand Constitutional wrongdoing to bring down the Cheeto.  Just a common street-gang crime?  Just perfect.  Donnie Brasco in its petty, prosaic ordinariness.

    If Trump were a black teenager, is there any doubt he would time for this type of "retrieval" of records?

    Dr. Bornstein, get thee to a Grand Jury!  (Since we all love the Bard.)


    While we're playing out this fantasy (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Peter G on Wed May 02, 2018 at 04:55:53 PM EST
    consider that the "robbery" is a crime within the prosecutorial authority of the Manhattan NYC District Attorney's Office, not necessarily any arm of the U.S. Dept of Justice. (And the standard definition of robbery is taking property from another person by force or threat of force, however slight. In New York, it is apparently just stealing with the aid of force threatened against a person.)

    Awesome! (none / 0) (#35)
    by MKS on Wed May 02, 2018 at 05:21:19 PM EST
    Keith Schiller, (none / 0) (#27)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 02, 2018 at 10:48:07 AM EST
    one of the raiders, was, at the time, Director of Oval Office Operations, on the government payroll at $160,000 per year. (Schiller left that government position in Oct 2017 to work for the RNC at $15,000 a month).

    He's really come a long way (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 02, 2018 at 06:58:15 PM EST
    Hasn't he?

    Started out lower than coffee boy, he was the quarter pounder hustler.


    Turn Schiller (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Wed May 02, 2018 at 08:12:50 PM EST
    Turn him, turn him, turn him.

    Indict him for robbery, and then make him an offer he can't refuse (since he fancies himself of that ilk.)

    And, then Presto! Schiller and Cohen, birds of a feather, who know all about Cheeto, can flock together at the Grand Jury and sing, sing, sing.....


    My understanding (none / 0) (#12)
    by linea on Tue May 01, 2018 at 10:01:06 PM EST
    I accompanied a BF to his doctors office as he demanded a copy of a 3-D imaging of a skiing injury but they lied to him and claimed it was the doctor's property. But he was right and they eventually gave him a DVD with the imaging. Funny thing is, the 3-D file type is propriety with the company that makes the imaging equipment.

    Thomas Rogan was correct ... (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Erehwon on Tue May 01, 2018 at 11:07:41 PM EST
    Go back and read the second para in his post! Even if some folks have difficulty understanding his first paragraph (which I found subtle and funny), the same folks should not have problems understanding the second paragraph!

    Thomas Rogan is mostly correct (2.67 / 3) (#17)
    by linea on Tue May 01, 2018 at 11:34:24 PM EST
    Medical professional `own' the records but are required to produce paper or electronic copies upon request. A `reasonable fee' would be the actual cost of the CD or USB drive or the cost of postage but `may not include costs associated with verification; documentation; searching for and retrieving the PHI; maintaining systems; recouping capital for data access, storage, or infrastructure; or other costs not listed above even if such costs are authorized by State law.' And the 30 day limit is according to Federal law (it does not vary state by state).

    Thomas Rogan (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by Zorba on Wed May 02, 2018 at 04:59:53 PM EST
    Is not just "mostly" correct.
    He wrote: "The provider has to produce copies of them to a patient or for anyone the patient designates within a reasonable time (often 30 days, varies by state) and is allowed to charge a reasonable fee."
    Which is exactly what you are saying about the records.
    Go back and reread his comment.
    You seem to have a habit of Googling and Wikipedia-ing things and then gainsaying lawyers, medical professionals, and other experts who know more than Wikipedia or other online resources do because they have spent years being educated in, and practicing in, the field.
    This is not a game, and while you certainly have a right to your opinion, plus it's great that you're interested enough in various topics to do some extra reading about them, it becomes annoying when you come back, as you so frequently do, quoting something you found online in order to attempt to refute something that actual experts in the field have said.  Or you set up a strawman and then tear that strawman down.
    Just my opinion, don't you know?

    I found this (none / 0) (#15)
    by linea on Tue May 01, 2018 at 11:22:14 PM EST
    Individuals' Right under HIPAA to Access their Health Information 45 CFR § 164.524

    The regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which protect the privacy and security of individuals' identifiable health information and establish an array of individual rights with respect to health information, have always recognized the importance of providing individuals with the ability to access and obtain a copy of their health information.  With limited exceptions, the HIPAA Privacy Rule (the Privacy Rule) provides individuals with a legal, enforceable right to see and receive copies upon request of the information in their medical and other health records maintained by their health care providers and health plans.


    No, linea, they didn't lie. (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Anne on Wed May 02, 2018 at 05:39:40 AM EST
    Pretty sure they gave him a copy of the DVD, and retained the original for their records.

    Perhaps "demanding" something from the doctor isn't the best way to go about things, you know?

    Also, not every TL discussion requires you to toss a hand grenade into it.  Just sayin'.


    The art of the schmooze (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by MKS on Wed May 02, 2018 at 04:44:58 PM EST
    With clerical people, why badger?  Just a little love will go a long way.

    NYMag (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 01, 2018 at 02:30:50 PM EST
    Bornstein is, naturally, thrilled. He tells NBC he is speaking out now because of Jackson's predicament. "This is like a celebration for me," explains Dr. Bornstein. And it is certainly true that, now, when somebody mentions "that crazy story with the Trump doctor," people now have to ask "Which one?"Advantage: Bornstein.

    With friends like these..... (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 04, 2018 at 03:20:19 PM EST
    Fear not (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 07, 2018 at 11:58:00 AM EST
    That will happen

    Could we have a thread (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 08, 2018 at 10:47:35 AM EST
    For the primaries today ??

    Blankenship got crushed (none / 0) (#58)
    by Peter G on Tue May 08, 2018 at 09:00:13 PM EST
    in the W.Va. Republican Senate primary. Too bad. Now Manchin will have a competent reactionary adversary, rather than a loony.