Hillary Lies About Her Health, Nets Say ‘Both Candidates’ Guilty

After Hillary Clinton nearly collapsed due to an undisclosed case of pneumonia on Sunday, on Monday, all three network morning shows tried to deflect from questions about her health and honesty by claiming that “both candidates” were guilty of not being forthcoming on the issue.

During a panel discussion on NBC’s Today, Bloomberg Politics editor Mark Halperin proclaimed: “Here are three things that are true about both of them. They’re older, they both have been very unforthcoming about their medical records, and they both don't believe in a system where the press has access to them around the clock to have the accountability that presidents normally subject themselves to.”

He concluded: “I think voters are gonna look at both candidates and say, ‘Do we know enough about their stamina to do this job?’ Not just Hillary Clinton, but also Donald Trump.”

Minutes later, after co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered if Clinton should release all her medical records, Halperin once again turned the topic to “both” presidential candidates:

Look, both these candidates, as I said, they don't believe in playing by the normal rules. The press isn’t there for fun, we’re there to ask tough questions to see who’s ready to be president and we're there to be with them in case something occurs so the public can be informed. Neither of these people – it’s not their campaigns – neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton wants to submit to the normal rules....We don’t know what’s in their health records. We don’t know what’s in his tax returns. I don't get the sense either of them is anxious to try to win the battle to be the one who has the most disclosure.

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In a report at the top of the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour, correspondent Peter Alexander spun that Clinton’s medical episode “quickly turned to a conversation about transparency and how little, frankly, we know about both of these candidates' health, one of whom will be president in just four months.”

During the segment, he blasted the Trump campaign for “floating what many view as conspiracy theories” about the health of the Democratic nominee and noted that “Trump's health largely remains a mystery...”

Wrapping up the report, Alexander declared: “To be clear, if elected, Donald Trump would be the oldest first term president ever. Hillary Clinton would be the second oldest, at 70 and 69 respectively. Just this morning, Trump told Fox News that he had a physical last week. He said as soon as he gets the results back, he will release a more detailed medical report.” Fill-in co-host Willie Geist chimed in: “A lot of people now especially want to see those records from both candidates.”

On ABC’s Good Morning America, correspondent Cecilia Vega fretted that “Trump has turned Clinton’s health and stamina into an attack line” and touted how the former Secretary of State had been “brushing off the takes as conspiracy theories.”

Following Vega’s report, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: “...you're seeing a lot of op/eds by other doctors, about what obligation each candidate has to disclose right now. Pretty extraordinary situation. Donald Trump, 70 years old. Hillary Clinton, 68.” Moments later, fellow co-host Robin Roberts observed: “And as we said, neither candidate, neither has released those medical records. After this and because of the age and what you're talking about – ” Stephanopoulos interjected that there would “more pressure” on both to release.

In a discussion with correspondent Jon Karl that followed, Stephanopoulos parroted Clinton campaign talking points:

But, Jon, what do you make of the argument some Clinton supporters put out that she's being held to a double standard? She puts out much more medical information than Donald Trump. He has a four paragraph letter. She puts out ten years of tax returns. He doesn’t put out any. The point they’re making is that yes, this may be an issue, but you all are not covering the other side.

Karl agreed: “It's a good point. Donald Trump put out a single letter from his doctor. A doctor that wasn’t necessarily qualified to make the assessment. It was frankly a joke of a letter....He's not submitted to this. He would be the oldest newly elected president in American history. He clearly has to do something here.” However, he added: “But look, this is about her. What happened yesterday is about her.”

On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes lamented: “Sunday's incident reignited conspiracy theories online about Clinton's health. Theories that have flourished ever since she got a stomach virus in 2012, got dehydrated, and fell, suffering a concussion and a blood clot.”

Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson later appeared on the program, and like his NBC and ABC colleagues, tried to frame the Clinton controversy as problem for both campaigns:

I think the transparency question, with Hillary Clinton in particular, with both candidates, is what is their instinct? So when no one’s looking, are they telling the truth? When they get caught, do they tell the truth? And finally, is there a group around them? Are they cocooned by people who protect them, who keep the press away for 90 minutes? What’s the cocooning function for both of these candidates?  

Co-host Norah O’Donnell highlighted: “I also think it's a reminder. She is 68, Donald Trump is 70 years old. They are the oldest nominees in American history.” Fellow co-host Charlie Rose worried: “The question is, can they get away with this without coming forward with medical records after this?” Dickerson replied: “Well, medical records and also Donald Trump hasn't released his taxes.”

By the end of Monday’s morning show coverage, viewers would have thought "both" Clinton and Trump had just suffered fainting spells.

Here are excerpts from the September12 coverage on the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts:

Today
7:07 AM

(...)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: It seems to me there are two issues here, Mark. I mean, there's the health issue and then there's the political issue. I mean, do you think that this is something, voters see that piece of video, there obviously has been something of a whisper campaign out there in some circles about “Is she healthy? Does she have some issues?” I mean, do you – do you think this could potentially be something that voters could consider and factor in?
            
MARK HALPERIN: Barring some extraordinary circumstance, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be president in January. Here are three things that are true about both of them. They’re older, they both have been very unforthcoming about their medical records, and they both don't believe in a system where the press has access to them around the clock to have the accountability that presidents normally subject themselves to. So I think all three of those issues will be front and center the rest of the way and I think voters are gonna look at both candidates and say, “Do we know enough about their stamina to do this job?” Not just Hillary Clinton, but also Donald Trump.  

(...)

7:09 AM

HALPERIN: Look, both these candidates, as I said, they don't believe in playing by the normal rules. The press isn’t there for fun, we’re there to ask tough questions to see who’s ready to be president and we're there to be with them in case something occurs so the public can be informed. Neither of these people – it’s not their campaigns – neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton wants to submit to the normal rules. The question is, will voters care that they don't submit or will voters be more troubled if they do disclose things. We don’t know what’s in their health records. We don’t know what’s in his tax returns. I don't get the sense either of them is anxious to try to win the battle to be the one who has the most disclosure.

(...)

7:32 AM

(...)

PETER ALEXANDER: Hey, Willie, good morning to you. We're just blocks away from Ground Zero, where that dramatic video of Hillary Clinton was shot on the 9/11 anniversary. It's a day when the political focus was largely on remembrance and the war on terror, but it quickly turned to a conversation about transparency and how little, frankly, we know about both of these candidates' health, one of whom will be president in just four months.

(...)

7:34 AM

Trump's health largely remains a mystery, except for a brief statement from his gastroenterologist praising his health as “astonishingly excellent,” the letter addressed to, “To whom my concern.”

DR. HAROLD BORNSTEIN: In a rush, I think some of those didn’t come exactly the way they were meant.

ALEXANDER: Just last week, Trump said he'd make his medical records public if Clinton did the same.

TRUMP: I would love to give specifics, as far as I'm concerned. And if she wants to do it, I'll do it a hundred percent.

DAVID MUIR: Why not go first?

TRUMP: I might do that. I might do that. In fact, now that you ask, I think I will do that.

ALEXANDER: To be clear, if elected, Donald Trump would be the oldest first term president ever. Hillary Clinton would be the second oldest, at 70 and 69 respectively. Just this morning, Trump told Fox News that he had a physical last week. He said as soon as he gets the results back, he will release a more detailed medical report. Willie, Savannah?

WILLIE GEIST: A lot of people now especially want to see those records from both candidates. Peter Alexander, thank you.

 

GMA
7:04 AM

(...)

CECILIA VEGA: On the campaign trail, Donald Trump has turned Clinton’s health and stamina into an attack line.

TRUMP: She doesn't have the strength or the stamina. And you know what? We can be nice and politically correct. We don't have the time anymore, folks.

VEGA: Clinton brushing off the takes as conspiracy theories.

CLINTON: There are so many of them, I've lost track of them.

(...)
    
7:07 AM

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: As a doctor right now, you're seeing a lot of op eds by other doctors, about what obligation each candidate has to disclose right now. Pretty extraordinary situation. Donald Trump, 70 years old. Hillary Clinton, 68. When John McCain ran, back in 2008, he released something like 1200 pages.

DR. RICHARD BESSER: Some of the calls in the op eds are for an independent panel to do a medical evaluation. You can't play professional football or baseball without having a medical clearance, without someone doing a thorough exam, who is independent. I don’t think that’s unreasonable for a president. As you hit your 70s, there are all kinds of problems that tend to come up that you see less in people who are young. And people want to know the health status of their candidates. Doctors won't lie when they're talking but they also won't disclose things without the permission of a patient or a candidate.

ROBIN ROBERTS: And as we said, neither candidate, neither has released those medical records. After this and because of the age and what you're talking about –

STEPHANOPOULOS: More pressure.

(...)

7:12 AM

STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Jon, what do you make of the argument some Clinton supporters put out that she's being held to a double standard? She puts out much more medical information than Donald Trump. He has a four paragraph letter. She puts out ten years of tax returns. He doesn’t put out any. The point they’re making is that yes, this may be an issue, but you all are not covering the other side.

KARL: It's a good point. Donald Trump put out a single letter from his doctor. A doctor that wasn’t necessarily qualified to make the assessment. It was frankly a joke of a letter. It said he would be the most healthy robust president we’ve ever had. He's not submitted to this. He would be the oldest newly elected president in American history. He clearly has to do something here. But look, this is about her. What happened yesterday is about her.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No question. Thank you, Jon Karl.

(...)

 

CBS This Morning
7:07 AM

(...)

NANCY CORDES: Sunday's incident reignited conspiracy theories online about Clinton's health. Theories that have flourished ever since she got a stomach virus in 2012, got dehydrated, and fell, suffering a concussion and a blood clot.

HILLARY CLINTON: Here, you take my – take my pulse.

CORDES: Clinton has tried to laugh off the rumors.

CLINTON: Make sure I'm alive.

JIMMY KIMMEL: Oh, my god. There is nothing there!

CLINTON: There’s nothing there.     

(...)

7:13 AM

CHARLIE ROSE: And the medical issue, is this going to be problematic for her throughout this campaign?

JOHN DICKERSON: I think it’s problematic on three reasons. One is the health question. Just how healthy is she? And there will be a lot of questions about let's see the full medical records. I think there’s also the transparency question. What is their instinct in a moment like this? That’s an Achilles heel for her candidacy and this goes right at that central question voters have about her trust. And then finally, it’s a distraction. They’ve been trying to pivot to talk about the solutions Hillary Clinton has for voters. That’s going to be obscured for several days now.

NORAH O’DONNELL: Transparency because she was diagnosed on Friday, she became ill on Sunday, and then disappeared from the protective travel pool and didn't expose until much later in the late afternoon that this is what was the problem.

DICKERSON: I think the transparency question, with Hillary Clinton in particular, with both candidates, is what is their instinct? So when no one’s looking, are they telling the truth? When they get caught, do they tell the truth? And finally, is there a group around them? Are they cocooned by people who protect them, who keep the press away for 90 minutes? What’s the cocooning function for both of these candidates?  

O’DONNELL: I also think it's a reminder. She is 68, Donald Trump is 70 years old. They are the oldest nominees in American history. In the past, medical records have been disclosed to the public and to the press. And that's not the case this time.

DICKERSON: Yeah. John McCain's medical records were over a thousand pages. I mean you could sit on them like a chair.

ROSE: The question is, can they get away with this without coming forward with medical records after this?

DICKERSON: Well, medical records and also Donald Trump hasn't released his taxes. And the point here about cocooning is that when you get in the office, everything in the office of the presidency cocoons you. It keeps you away from unpleasant things. If that’s already your instinct, that’s only going to be exacerbated when you become president.

(...)


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