Trump declined boy's ‘vegan’ challenge because he feared losing 'even one brain cell': former staffer
Donald Trump eating McDonald's fast food aboard his private jet (screengrab from the president's Instagram account)

Former president Donald Trump declined a young boy's challenge to go "vegan" for a month because he feared losing "even one brain cell," according to a new book from former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

"On another occasion around the new year (in 2020), a young boy started publicly challenging Trump to go vegan in TV ads and on highway billboards," Grisham writes in her book, "I'll Take Your Questions Now," according to an excerpt published Friday by Politico. "If the president agreed, the boy said, the charity he represented would donate $1 million to veterans. I was communications director at the time and I playfully asked the president if he would ever consider doing that, since the challenge would raise a lot of money for a good cause. I knew he loved his steaks and cheeseburgers, but one month didn't seem that long."

According to Grisham, Trump's response was "swift, and his tone was suddenly very serious."

"No, no. It messes with your body chemistry, your brain," Trump said, offering his views on vegetarian diets. "And if I lose even one brain cell, we're f*cked."

Insider reported at the time that the challenge came from a 9-year-old activist named Vegan Evan, as part of a campaign to "Make America Healthy Again."

"I think that veganism is a gift and it's great to give that gift to people so they can be healthier and feel better, not hurt animals, and not destroy the planet," Vegan Evan said.