Clinton aide: Only an "imbecile" would say Hillary's faking

An outspoken aide fires back at conservative critics who said the secretary of state really had the "Benghazi flu"

By David Daley
January 5, 2013 11:07PM (UTC)
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A senior adviser to Hillary Clinton has told the New York Times that only "an imbecile" would suggest that the secretary of state would fake an illness rather than answer questions from Congress about the Sept. 11 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which killed ambassador Chris Stevens.

Clinton, who is recovering from a concussion and then the discovery of a blood clot near her brain, needed to cancel her appearance before an investigative committee in December. When the concussion was first announced, prominent conservatives including John Bolton, Charles Krauthammer and Monica Crowley all suggested there was something a little too convenient about the timing.


But in a story in Saturday's New York Times about Clinton's recovery, Reines -- a Clinton aide with a history of speaking his mind -- fired back at that notion.

"She would have vastly preferred to testify that original date than go through the last 27 days," said Philippe Reines. "Only an imbecile would say otherwise."

A Buzzfeed story published after Clinton's blood clot diagnosis collected video and tweets from some of those who did suggest otherwise over reports of the initial concussion.


They included Krauthammer's diagnosis on Fox News that the secretary of state was suffering from an "acute Benghazi allergy," and a New York Post editorial called "Hillary Clinton's Head Fake." That article suggested Clinton was making an unbelievable excuse by quoting from a Shel Silverstein poem about kids too sick to go to school.

David Daley

David Daley is the author of "Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy" and a senior fellow at FairVote.

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Allen West Benghazi Flu Charles Krauthammer Fox News Hillary Clinton