Hillary Clinton’s campaign left reporters in the dark for a full 90 minutes about her health and whereabouts on Sunday after she unexpectedly left a 9/11 memorial event in New York. It took most of the day to disclose that Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia nearly three days earlier and wasn’t simply “overheated,” as the campaign’s initial statement on Sunday said.
The campaign’s limited and confusing disclosures frustrated reporters who cover Clinton and seemed to play into health rumors that have been promoted by her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, and his surrogates and touted in conservative media outlets.
Pool reporters — those who follow the Democratic nominee into restricted spaces and provide reports to other reporters — never saw her leave the commemorative event at the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan and then apparently collapse into a van. The pool was confined to a media pen out of sight of Clinton’s location. Footage of her halting departure was captured by a bystander, Zdenek Gazda, who noticed her being helped to the vehicle.
The news appears to have been broken Sunday morning on Twitter by Fox News reporter Rick Leventhal. Citing an unnamed source, Leventhal tweeted at 9:42 a.m. “Hillary Clinton ‘clearly having some medical episode’ & had to be helped into van by her protective detail at WTC.”
Shortly thereafter, Leventhal, citing a law enforcement source, tweeted that Clinton “appeared to faint on way into van” and that she “stumbled off curb, ‘knees buckled,” lost a shoe as she was helped into vans.” He said his source “watched it happen.”
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