Donald Trump in trainwreck Fox News interview claims test involving elephant identification proves he's competent

Donald Trump suffered an interview so bad it could be used as "Biden's campaign ad", his former communications director said, after he argued a test in which he was asked to identify an elephant proved his competence as US President.

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace had Trump on the ropes in the interview, which covered his much-maligned management of the COVID-19 crisis, his low polling compared to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and "mean tweets" he'd sent to Wallace.

Early in the interview, Wallace unveiled a Fox News poll that had Trump eight points behind Biden, as well as others showing he trailed Biden on management of the economy, race relations and coronavirus.

But Trump immediately labelled them "fake polls" and vowed not to lose the November election. He also refused to rule out questioning the result of the election if he did come out on the losing side.

"I have to see," he said. "No, I'm not going to just say yes. I'm not going to say no, and I didn't last time either."

The standout moment was to come later in the interview though, when Trump was quizzed on another Fox News poll that showed respondents believed Biden had greater mental soundness to serve as president than he did.

Trump's response was to brag that he recently aced a test believed to be the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA). He told Wallace's Fox News colleague Sean Hannity last week that doctors described his results as "an unbelievable thing", telling him "rarely does anyone do what you just did".

In the interview with Wallace on Sunday (local time), he challenged Biden to take the same test to prove that he was of greater mental soundness.

"Let's take a test right now. Let's go down, Joe and I will take a test. Let him take the same test that I took," Trump said.

But Wallace said it wouldn't be the best indicator of cognitive ability, as the MOCA was too easy a test.

"Incidentally, I took the test too when I heard that you passed it. It's not - well it's not the hardest test. They have a picture and it says 'what's that' and it's an elephant," he said.

"It's all misrepresentation," Trump countered. "Because, yes, the first few questions are easy, but I'll bet you couldn't even answer the last five questions. I'll bet you couldn't, they get very hard, the last five questions."

"Well, one of them was count back from 100 by seven," Wallace responded. "Ninety-three."

Wallace was incredulous at Trump's suggestion the last five questions on the test were "very hard".
Wallace was incredulous at Trump's suggestion the last five questions on the test were "very hard". Photo credit: Fox News

But Trump wasn't having a bar of it, claiming Wallace wouldn't be capable of answering many of the questions, and "guaranteeing" Biden couldn't answer them either.

Wallace also grilled Trump over a series of "mean tweets" he'd directed at him, describing the broadcaster as "nasty" and "obnoxious".

"I'm not a big fan of Fox, I'll be honest with you. They've changed a lot since Roger Ailes," was his response, before later claiming Wallace leaned "toward the Democrat side" in his reporting for the network.

Other notable moments in the interview saw Trump describing White House COVID-19 expert Anthony Fauci as "an alarmist" and saying the disease would simply "disappear". He also claimed the reason the European Union was recording less new cases than the US was because they were testing less.

The interview was so bad for Trump that former communications director Anthony Scaramucci said it could be used as Biden's campaign ad.