DONALD Trump has long been rumoured to suffer from an unusual phobia – the fear of falling down STAIRS.
Gossip about his "bathmophobia" – which also includes a fear of slopes – has been a stumbling block for the US President for years.
Now the issue has once again arisen after a press conference with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, where the former business mogul appeared to need help to get up a short flight of stairs back to the White House.
Mr McConnell could be seen offering the President's an arm to cling onto as the pair stepped up.
In January Trump grabbed Prime Minister Theresa May's hand when she visited the White House.
A British government source told Politico that the 71-year-old latched onto May because of an "unseen ramp".
Sources say Trump grabbed May’s hand to steady himself and then rubbed it in thanks.
Downing Street would not discuss the president’s alleged phobia, instead dubbing the hand holding “a chivalrous gesture”.
The President’s phobia is reportedly behind his refusal to visit one close aide’s office in the White House because it’s up a flight of stairs from the Oval Office.
In April the Times reported officials planning Donald Trump's state visit to Britain had discussed ways of keeping the US president away from stairs after reading reports that he has a phobia of steps and slopes.
Planners wanted to stage events on the ground floor of buildings, and reportedly designed routes for Trump that avoid staircases.
The way President Obama runs down the stairs of Air Force 1, hopping & bobbing all the way, is so inelegant and unpresidential. Do not fall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2014
The 45th president was due to visit Britain this month to enjoy a state dinner at Buckingham Palace and a trip to the Queen's Scottish retreat Balmoral, but this has been postponed because of widespread anti-Trump sentiment in the UK.
Trump is a self-confessed "germaphobe" and does not like using handrails and has spoken about his extreme dislike of shaking hands.
In 2014 Trump tweeted criticism of Barack Obama for running down Air Force One's stairs.
"Do not fall," he wrote.
WHAT IS BATHMOPHOBIA?
It is distinct from climacophobia as bathmophobia sufferers can panic at the mere sight of a steep staircase.
Climacophobia sufferers typically experience fear only when climbing or going down stairs.
The crippling condition is common in animals especially household pets.
A common cause of the fear is a negative experience of stairs or steep slopes in childhood.
Both bathmophobia and climacophobia are commonly related to other disorders.
For example, symptoms relating to acrophobia (fear of heights) or illygnophobia (a fear of vertigo) can be mistaken for bathmophobia.
Sufferers are often treated using cognitive-behavioural therapy which helps replace fears with rational alternatives.