WALLACE: Senator Graham, how important is it for Secretary of State Clinton to testify under oath before she leaves office about the Benghazi terror attack?...With all that assurance that Hillary Clinton would testify, later that day, we heard the news that Hillary Clinton had entered the hospital with a blood clot. We weren't told the site of said blood clot. Was it her brain (recently concussed)? Was it her leg (where she had a blood clot back in 1998)? The former is a big deal, the latter, not so much. Why not specify the site, since it make such a big difference, medically? Oh, but we're told we must not display any skepticism, any hint of suspicion that the SOS is trying to avoid having to testify about Benghazi. The woman is ill. Only a clod would say a clot was a plot.
GRAHAM: Absolutely essential that she'd testify....
WALLACE: Some of your Republican colleagues say they are prepared to hold off the confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of state, until Secretary Clinton testifies as secretary, before she leaves office.
GRAHAM: That's going to happen. I've been told by Senator Kerry he wants that approach also. He needs to hear what she says so he can make comments about, I agree with her/I don't agree with her. It makes sense to have her go first.
WALLACE: Do you agree with that, Senator Feinstein, that she needs to testify first, as an -- and have you been assured she will testify, though it has been 3 1/2 months since Benghazi and she still has never really answered questions, about Benghazi, her role before, during, after the attack? Do you have reason to believe she'll testify as secretary?
FEINSTEIN: She has said she will and I believe she will. You know, she's had a very real accident and she's recovering from it, and, she will be back. I gather, her first day, of work may well be next week. So, I think that's good news.
Here's medical expert Kent Sepkowitz:
Unlike the relatively bland “concussion after fainting” pronouncement from earlier this month, this terse press release from her spokesman smells a little fishy. First it is odd that we are not told where the clot is—usually the clot, referred to as thrombophlebitis, occurs in the leg, a condition suffered by former president Richard Nixon after leaving the White House.Maybe you can remember — if not, guess! — how sensitive we were to Nixon's phlebitis, which conveniently flared up in the midst of Watergate. Ha! That bastard thinks he can get our sympathy. Pathetic! (That's what I said at the time.)
The clot [in the leg] can be uncomfortable but is only dangerous and even life threatening if it breaks free and travels downstream into the lung—a pulmonary embolus, in medical parlance.... Given that Clinton already has had this condition and those who have had one episode have a predilection to recurrence, the lack of a reminder of the 1998 clot from her press people seems a strange oversight.The suppression of information — the site of the clot — suggests 2 radically different theories: 1. fakery/exaggeration to evade testimony, or 2. something horribly serious. I read Sepkowitz to exclude the middle ground.
Another problem with the “concussion then clot” story is this—the concussion, if indeed it came after a faint, should not directly predispose Clinton to a clot....
Alternatively, is it possible that the clot in question is one in the lining of the brain that can form after head trauma.... But anticoagulation is never given to persons with clots around the brain. They are either watched without intervention or surgically evacuated. So this possible explanation is out.
We are left with a story that is not easy to connect up with sparse information from the inside crowd, who could easily deflate speculation with two or three more measly facts. The National Enquirer has already declared Clinton to be suffering from a brain tumor, linking her observed weight gain, possibly from treatment for the putative cancer, and not-exactly-explained need to leave Obama’s Cabinet to the grim diagnosis. Such a story no longer seems to me as implausible as it did after the faint and concussion reports.
UPDATE: Email from CNN says: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a blood clot between her brain and skull behind her right ear, her doctors said." This seems to be the option that Sepkowitz excluded because "anticoagulation is never given to persons with clots around the brain." If that's correct, then something is still, to use Sepkowitz's word, fishy.
UPDATE 2: Here's the Washington Post, on January 1st, noting the site of the clot and saying "The conventional treatment is an anticoagulant drug for at least six months." So that directly contradictions Sepkowitz's statement that "anticoagulation is never given to persons with clots around the brain."
AND: I've got a bit more to say here.