Hillary Clinton Sought Damage Control Advice from Roger Goodell after 2012 Concussion

hillary clinton sunglasses blackberry Kevin Lamarque AP
Kevin Lamarque AP

Hillary Clinton aides called upon NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist for media messaging advice after the then secretary of state sustained a concussion from a fall she took in December 2012.

“I reached out to both the Nfl commish [Goodell] (I remembered that his dad held your Senate seat) and Bill Frist,” Phillippe Reines emailed Mrs. Clinton. The Daily Beast found no evidence of the commissioner, whose father succeeded Robert Kennedy in the Senate before William F. Buckley’s brother Jim unseated him, responded. Goodell, pilloried in the new Concussion movie, continues to weather his own public relations struggles over mild traumatic brain injuries.

Clinton, hospitalized for a blood clot in her brain due to her injury, postponed a meeting with a Benghazi congressional hearing evoking accusations by some critics  that she suffered from the “Benghazi flu.”

Two deputy secretaries replaced Clinton to testify before that committee instead. The committee was called to investigate the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The Daily Beast reported Republican political consultant and deputy chief of Staff during the George W. Bush administration Karl Rove claimed earlier that the blow to the 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner’s head may have caused brain damage, making her unfit for president. Rove later walked back his comment.

Yet, new revelations reported by Breitbart News on Wednesday suggests that Rove’s initial comments may indeed be credible. One neurologist in the report postulates that Clinton is suffering from post-concussion syndrome, which may undermine her cognitive abilities.

Sometime after the concussion, the Beast reports Clinton noted in an email to one of her aides Philippe Reines that,  “Having a cracked head is no fun at all.”  Husband Bill Clinton acknowledged that it “required six months of very serious work” for Hillary to mend from the ordeal.

Reines admitted that he reached out to Commissioner Goodell and Senator Frist for help “to undermine the John Boltons and Laura Ingraham’s of the world”  for “belittling” the former Secretary’s health.  He asserted that he would not let “these comments stand, no matter who says them.”

Frist, GOP Senate Majority Leader from 2003 to 2007, representing Tennessee stated, “I love her and respect her and I can help. Not sure how exactly [but] I know I can help. I will Keep all Confidential.”

The Senator was not alone in expressing his concern for Clinton after her head injury. Democratic strategist James Carville, according to Clinton confidante Sid Blumenthal, was “very upset” by the episode. Moreover, ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife, retired CIA spy Valerie Wilson offered her “best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.”

Hillary Clinton told NBC journalist Dianne Sawyer in a 2014 interview that there were “No lingering effects” from the concussion.


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