Busy Week for State Department, Where Is Hillary?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is "working from home" this week after a stomach virus left her so dehydrated that she fell and suffered a concussion. It's a politically convenient week to be confined to home considering that it precluded her testifying on Capitol Hill over the largest scandal in her career at the State Department.
Her department has been under incredible scrutiny this week, and although she is "working" from home, neither the press, nor the President, has heard a thing from the Secretary about one of the biggest scandals in his administration.
State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told the press on December 18th:
We’ve been very clear from the beginning that she had a stomach virus, an ugly stomach virus. She got very dehydrated, she fainted, it was later discovered she had sustained a concussion. On doctor’s orders, she is working at home this week. That’s all we’ve got going on.
Actually, what the State Department had "going on" was the release of the Accountability Review Board's (ARB) findings this week, testifying on Capitol Hill in open and closed sessions, and holding their own presser over the unclassified report.
But the only words we've heard from the "working" home-bound Secretary are those that she printed in her cover letter accompanying the ARB's report stating that she was going to accept all of their recommendations and attempt to implement them before the end of her tenure at the State Department.
Although most chalk up the "I have a concussion so I can't testify" excuse as a way to dodge public scrutiny, it appears the Secretary has also been dodging the President. According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Secretary Clinton has not spoken to the President since before the release of the ARB report.
Q: Question about Secretary Clinton. The public learned last Saturday that she had fallen and got a concussion. Did the -- but that had happened days earlier. When was the President informed, when was the White House informed that she had fallen and got a concussion? Was it Saturday?
MR. CARNEY: I don’t have a day for you. I know that the President spoke with Secretary Clinton on Saturday, but I don’t have any more information --
Q: But had that been revealed to the White House sooner and you just hadn't told the public? Or did it --
MR. CARNEY: Again, I think the State Department has been informing the public about the fact that she was ill and then that she fell. And the President spoke with the Secretary on Saturday. But I don't have any more information for you on it.
Q: Is he speaking with her regularly? The question of if she is unable --
MR. CARNEY: Well, I just told you, he spoke with her on Saturday.
Q: On Saturday, but --
MR. CARNEY: I don't have another conversation to read out to you.
Q: Okay, well, the question is she's still the Secretary of State until someone else is nominated and confirmed. And there are a lot of foreign policy issues all around the world from Syria to Iran, North Korea, et cetera. She couldn't testify on Capitol Hill because she's ill. Is he talking to her on a regular basis to figure out if somebody else is going to fill in? On a regular basis now, is she able to do her job?
MR. CARNEY: Well, again, I would refer questions about her health to the State Department. There are obviously enormously able people at the State Department, including the Deputy Secretary of State both for policy and for administration, and a number of very able advisors to the President on matters of national security and foreign policy.
And the President has spoken with Secretary Clinton. She is ill and recovering. But the State Department remains under her watch and ably administrated by Secretary Burns and Secretary Nides and others. I just don't have any more information on that for you.
Q: Has he spoken with her since Saturday?
MR. CARNEY: I just said that he spoke to her on Saturday. I don't have any other calls to read out.
Q: But not since?
MR. CARNEY: Not that I'm aware of.
The White House has said multiple times that the President is "committed" to making sure the security failures in Benghazi are never repeated and that those responsible for the death of the four Americans will be brought to justice. Yet, the President has apparently not talked to the Secretary (who assembled the ARB) about the report and likely hasn't even read the report (though he was "briefed on it).
Breitbart News reached out to the State Department to see if they could confirm that the President and the Secretary have not spoken since before the report. We are still awaiting a response.
Acting Deputy Spokesman Patrick Ventrell today said that he had "no updates" on the Secretary of State's health or any phone conversations to announce to the press. So it seems that the President and the Secretary still have not spoken about the report.
This development comes with added scrutiny, because the President announced today that he is nominating Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. The AP confirmed that the Secretary also skipped this announcement, which was held today in the Roosevelt Room.
The Secretary did release a statement about the Kerry nomination, saying that she spoke with President Obama and congratulated him on his "excellent choice" to replace her, and she hopes "Kerry will be confirmed quickly."
So where is Secretary Clinton? And why is she allowing proxies to defend the security failures at her State Department? When will she talk to Congress, the press, or the President about the findings of the Benghazi review board's report? Is the Secretary at home "working?" Or is she packing her bags and ready to leave the scandals of this administration behind?