Donald Trump has hit out at people who claimed he was struggling to walk down a ramp during a public appearance over the weekend.
The president appeared to have difficulty descending from the podium after giving a speech at the West Point military academy in New York state on Saturday.
Broadcasts of the speech showed him taking the steps very gingerly while flanked by a military officer.
But Trump, 74, claimed a fault with the stage’s design had caused the problem rather than any issues with his gait.
The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2020
“The ramp that I descended after my West Point commencement speech was very long and steep had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery,” the president tweeted.
“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!”
Social media users also noticed during the speech that Trump appeared to struggle to lift a water glass to his face.
The US president and Pentagon leaders have faced unrelenting criticism over their response to the protests across the country following George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis.
Trump appeared to allude to those tensions as he addressed more than 1,100 graduates at an unusual socially-distanced outdoor ceremony held during the coronavirus pandemic.
He told them: "What has historically made America unique is the durability of its institutions against the passions and prejudices of the moment.
"When times are turbulent, when the road is rough, what matters most is that which is permanent, timeless, enduring and eternal."
Protests have since spread across the globe, with violent clashes in London ending with hundreds of arrests and several police officers injured earlier this week.