Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hillary Clinton aide sought concussion advice from NFL after her fall: Report

The latest batch of email messages from Hillary Clinton on Monday show how a Clinton communications staffer asked the National Football League for help in hope of deflecting criticism from right-wing commentators after the former secretary of state suffered a concussion when she fainted and hit her head in late 2012.

One of Clinton's closest aides was called to put together an unusual group of allies to help manage the messaging fallout from her all-too-convenient “Benghazi flu” — including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist, reported The Daily Beast.

Clinton's chief communications guru, Phillipe Reines contacted the NFL for help in alerting the press on the dangers of surrounding her December 2012 concussion. Buried among the hundreds of emails was an exchange about the injury on Christmas Eve that year, as she prepared to hand over the reins to John Kerry:

"Having a cracked head is no fun at all," Clinton emailed Reines.

"Speaking of your cracked head," he replied, "I reached out to both the Nfl commish (I remembered that his dad held your Senate seat) and Bill Frist. Frist responded wonderfully and is ready to help."

After Clinton assured Reines that she was "ok in the doctor department for now," he made his intentions clear.

"Sorry, didn't mean medically. Wouldn't ever do that," Reines wrote. "I meant I enlisted their help in my ongoing efforts to undermine the John Boltons and Laura Ingraham's of the world who are belittling your health." 

Clinton responded five minutes later: "That makes a lot of sense. As always, thanks for defending me, my friend."

Frist, a former Tennessee senator who served as U.S. Senate Majority Leader until 2007, is a Clinton-friendly Republican and a medical doctor.

The NFL, under Goodell, had been enduring years of public-relations setbacks as former players have died early or revealed traumatic brain injuries that they have said were a result of playing the sport of football.

Bolton, Ingraham and other commentators were quick to criticize Clinton as her concussion forced what conservatives saw as a too-convenient postponement of her first congressional testimony about the Benghazi attacks three months earlier.

Ingraham in particular suggested she was faking her injury in order to avoid an intense grilling on Capitol Hill.

Bill Clinton later said that it “required six months of very serious work” for his wife to get over the concussion.

Doctors had found a blood clot in her right transverse venous sinus related to her concussion, but ultimately determined that the clot caused no neurological injury. “No lingering effects,” Clinton told Diane Sawyer in 2014, when asked about her experience.

Monday's batch of released emails consumed more than 7,800 pages, mostly from 2012 and 2013. In all, 328 of the emails were deemed "classified," including one marked "secret."

That brings to 999 the total number of now-classified emails that once resided on Hillary's unsecured server at her upstate New York home.

Bill Belichick's playbook has more security.

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