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Hillary Clinton brain damage rumor

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

The Hillary Clinton brain damage rumor is a conspiracy theory that circulated in 2016 alleging that Hillary Clinton was suffering from a worsening neurological disorder resulting from advanced Parkinson's disease, syphilis, or traumatic injury. It originated with photos and videos of Clinton that were "reinterpreted and wrenched out of context" by conspiracy theorists.


In 2012 Hillary Clinton was hospitalized for a blood clot. Two years later, in 2014, Karl Rove suggested the clot had left Clinton brain damaged. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill responded to the allegation by explaining that Clinton was “100 percent".[1]

In 2014 Karl Rove alleged Hillary Clinton, pictured here, suffered from brain damage.


On August 4, 2016, Australian conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson posted a video to YouTube in which he alleged Hillary Clinton was suffering from a variety of health issues, including neurological issues and brain damage, citing, among other items, a facial expression made by Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Within a week the video had received more than 1.6 million views. The following Monday the National Enquirer ran a front-page feature titled “Hillary Clinton’s Secret Health Crisis” while The Drudge Report posted a photo showing Clinton tripping on a flight of stairs, in which it was insinuated the accident was a result of medical issues. [2][3]

File:Clinton DNC 2016 CSPAN.ogv
A facial expression made by Clinton at the Democratic National Convention was cited as an indicator of a neurological disorder; the clip here is shown twice, the second time in slow motion to approximate the method of presentation used in online videos making the allegation.

Meanwhile, on August 6, in a question and answer session following a speech to the National Association of Black and Hispanic Journalists, Clinton - responding to a question about the honesty of her public statements during the Hillary Clinton email controversy - said "I may have short-circuited". According to CNBC, the comment "sparked a furor on social media with the hashtag #WhatMakesHillaryShortCircuit trending for hours on Twitter".[4]

By midday of August 8, the second-highest trending Google search term about Hillary Clinton was “Is Hillary having health problems?” The following day Sean Hannity, in his nationally syndicated radio show, suggested Clinton had recently suffered from a stroke, citing alleged aberrant behavior by Clinton. Later, on his television show, Hannity interviewed a physician who concluded that "a traumatic brain injury with symptoms down the road is very, very likely here especially since she had a blood-clot on her brain". A number of blogs and other websites followed by also questioning the soundness of Clinton's health. In most of the cases scrutinized, the Washington Post reported, "a Clinton moment that had been captured by the media was reinterpreted and wrenched out of context". [2][5][6][7]

A photo of Hillary Clinton ascending a staircase in February 2016 was distributed by persons alleging Clinton suffered from neurological disorders.

Specific claims[edit]

Several videos and photographs were cited as evidence of Clinton's supposed health issues, including:

  • a Reuters photograph from February 2016 showing Clinton being helped by two men to ascend a flight of stairs (Snopes concluded that this claim was a "mixture" of truth and falsehoods, noting the photograph was genuine, but that more recent photos of Clinton navigating stairs on her own locomotion also exist),[6][8]
  • a June 10, 2016 video posted to YouTube showing Clinton at a campaign stop in which it appears she turns her head back-and-forth vigorously for several seconds (the video was manipulated to loop a much shorter Clinton head turn to create the appearance of a spasm),[6]
  • an early August incident where a Clinton speech was disrupted by protesters and in which Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Todd Madison (alleged by some conspiracy bloggers to be a neurologist and not, in fact, a U.S. Secret Service special agent) approaches a visibly shaken Clinton and instructs her to "keep talking".[6]


  1. Glueck, Katie (12 May 2014). "Rove: Clinton might have brain injury". Politico. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Collins, Ben (9 August 2016). "'Is Hillary Dying' Hoax Started by Pal of Alex Jones". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  3. Watson, Paul. "PHARMACEUTICAL EXEC: HILLARY CLINTON HAS PARKINSON'S DISEASE". InfoWars. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  4. McLymore, Arriana (6 August 2016). "Hillary Clinton admits 'short circuit' on email server comments". CNBC. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  5. "Sean Hannity Pushes Baseless Conspiracy Theory That Hillary Clinton Had A Stroke". Media Matters for America. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Weigel, David (8 August 2016). "Armed with junk science and old photos, critics question #HillarysHealth". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  7. Schwartz, Ian (8 August 2016). "FOX News' Medical Team: What Do Hillary Clinton's Neurological Records Show?". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  8. Evon, Dan. "Slip Sliding Away". Snopes. Retrieved 10 August 2016.

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