Political News

Clinton recovering after health episode, cancels Calif. trip

Posted September 11

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves after leaving an apartment building Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in New York. Clinton's campaign said the Democratic presidential nominee left the 9/11 anniversary ceremony in New York early after feeling "overheated." (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

— An ill Hillary Clinton abruptly left a 9/11 anniversary ceremony Sunday and needed to be held up by three people before she appeared to stumble off a curb and was helped into a van. Several hours later, her campaign revealed she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday and advised to rest.

Less than two months from Election Day, it was an unwanted visual for Clinton as she tries to project the strength and vigor needed for one of the world's most demanding jobs. Republican rival Donald Trump has spent months questioning Clinton's health, saying she lacks the stamina to be president.

In a statement, Clinton's doctor said the former secretary of state had become overheated and dehydrated at the event in lower Manhattan. "I have just examined her and she is now rehydrated and recovering nicely," Dr. Lisa R. Bardack said.

The physician said Clinton has had an allergy-related cough, and that during a follow-up examination Friday, the candidate was diagnosed with pneumonia, put on antibiotics, advised to rest and modify her schedule.

Clinton's departure from the event was not witnessed by the reporters who travel with her campaign and aides provided no information about why she left or her whereabouts for nearly two hours. Spokesman Nick Merrill eventually said Clinton had gone to her daughter's nearby apartment, but refused to say whether the former secretary of state had required medical attention.

Clinton exited the apartment on her own shortly before noon. She waved to reporters and said, "I'm feeling great. It's a beautiful day in New York."

In the meantime, a video surfaced on Twitter that showed Clinton being held up by aides as a black van pulls up. She stumbles and appears to fall off the curb as she is helped inside.

After leaving her daughter's, Clinton was driven to her home in Chappaqua, New York, and made no public appearances. She later called off plans to fly to California on Monday morning for two days of fundraising, campaign events and an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show.

Trump, who attended the same event marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, was noticeably restrained. Asked by a reporter about Clinton's health incident, Trump said, "I don't know anything."

The incident compounds an already difficult stretch for Clinton as the presidential race enters its final stretch. Despite Trump's numerous missteps, the race remains close and many Americans view Clinton as dishonest and untrustworthy.

On Friday, Clinton told donors that "half" of rival Donald Trump's supporters are in a "basket of deplorables" — a comment that drew sharp criticism from Republicans. Clinton later said she regretted applying that description to "half" of Trump's backers, but stuck by her assertion that the GOP nominee has given a platform to "hateful views and voices."

Now Clinton is sure to face new questions about whether she's physically fit for the presidency. Trump and his supporters have been hinting at potential health issues for months, questioning Clinton's stamina when she takes routine days off the campaign trail and reviving questions about a concussion she sustained in December 2012 after fainting. Her doctor attributed that episode to a stomach virus and dehydration.

Clinton's doctor reported she is fully recovered from the concussion, which led to temporary double vision and discovery of a blood clot in a vein in the space between her brain and skull. Clinton also has experienced deep vein thrombosis, a clot usually in the leg, and takes the blood thinner Coumadin to prevent new clots.

Clinton spent about 90 minutes at the 9/11 event Sunday, standing alongside numerous other dignitaries, including New York's Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand. The weather was warm and humid in New York on Sunday, and there was a breeze at the crowded memorial plaza during the ceremony.

Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., said he spent time before the ceremony chatting with Clinton and watching her sign autographs and take pictures. He said he was standing behind her during the remembrance and "she did not seem out of the ordinary at all."

"It was stiflingly hot. I was sweating through my shirt," Crowley said. "I had to leave myself. I drank about a gallon of water."

Schumer said he also spoke with Clinton during the event and saw her leave "on her own accord."?

Trump's personal physician has said the Republican presidential nominee is in excellent health both physically and mentally. But the 70-year-old has refused to release his own health records.

Dr. Harold Bornstein's report last December remains the only medical information released so far by the Trump campaign. Bornstein told NBC News he needed just five minutes to write a glowing public assessment of Trump's health as a limousine waited to carry the letter back to Trump.


Pace reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Tom Hays and Michael Balsamo in New York, and AP writer Laurie Kellman in Washington contributed to this report.


Follow Lisa Lerer on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/llerer and Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC


This story has been corrected to reflect that Clinton said 'basket of deplorables,' not 'bucket of deplorables' in reference to 'half' of Trump's supporters.


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  • Charlie Watkins Sep 12, 5:20 a.m.
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    If Hillary Clinton has to drop out due to ill health does Kaine automatically go to the head of the ticket?

  • Justin Briller Sep 11, 11:02 p.m.
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    Nut job Sam protecting Killary again....LOL

    Hillary is cancer and Trump in Chemo. Both are bad, but you need one to get rid of the other..

  • Jeffrey Derry Sep 11, 10:45 p.m.
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    She is not well and I question her fitness to be President

  • Sam Nada Sep 11, 10:18 p.m.
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    It's certainly fair to scrutinize the health of a potential President. But what we get from the conspiracy nut jobs on the right is hardly a rational, balanced, informed perspective. Also, that same scrutiny should be applied to Trump. That bogus letter from the bizarre doctor can hardly be taken as a reliable, thorough health report, and raises the obvious concern about what he's hiding, just like his taxes. Somehow he gets a pass for everything from his supporters.

  • Matt Clinton Sep 11, 9:58 p.m.
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    And I'm guessing the media, WRAL included, is just going to take Hillary's word for it and drop the issue. Then they'll proceed to accuse anyone who brings it up of a low blow. Hillary's condition sure is guarded, but not in the way it should be.

  • Kenneth Jones Sep 11, 8:46 p.m.
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    The temperature was in the 70's this morning when this happened. Stop lying. You're as bad as her.........

  • Kenneth Jones Sep 11, 8:43 p.m.
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    Who told you she has been campaigning non stop? This woman does very, very few events. One, maybe two a week. Please tell me how she could be exhausted if she is doing nothing? This woman is very sick and has been for years. It's getting much worse and much more difficult to conceal. Stop making excuses for her. Everyone who knows the truth should be ashamed for not telling us about her health status. And you should be ashamed for not doing your homework on both candidates..

  • Eric Garrison Sep 11, 7:56 p.m.
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    2 things - to be diagnosed with Pneumonia, you have a chest X-Ray. When did this happen and why did the press not know this? Second, many times you are given codeine cough syrup to help you sleep. It works great and makes your feel "great". BUT, if you are dehydrated and take it, a common side effect is dizzy and uncontrolled muscle movements.

  • Sam Nada Sep 11, 7:23 p.m.
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    Love to see the wingnuts frothing at the mouth over Hillary's health. And what do we have attesting to Trump's health? A clown doc's bizarrely worded letter with the fake header? Now that's reassuring. And just think of this, if Trump quits or dies we'd be left with the total wacko Pence. At least with Hillary the backup is a serious, sane, competent replacement.

  • Amy Whaley Sep 11, 7:06 p.m.
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    Carol Smith, are you one of those Soros employees who are paid by the comment?