Bill Clinton’s attempt on Monday at downplaying his wife’s recent fainting spell may have backfired.
During an interview with CBS News’ Charlie Rose, the former president said that Hillary Clinton has “on more than one occasion” had a fainting episode after becoming “severely dehydrated.”
The former first lady nearly fell on the ground on Sunday — after possibly blacking out — after she was forced to leave a 9/11 memorial service. Her campaign claimed she was “overheated” and that she did not lose consciousness. It was only after video surfaced of Clinton going wobbly that the campaign issued a statement from her doctor acknowledging that she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.
Rose asked Bill Clinton if the episode indicates that his wife has more serious medical issues.
“Well if it is, it’s a mystery to me and all of her doctors,” he responded.
“Because frequently,” Clinton began, according to CBS’ website, before correcting himself, “well not frequently, rarely — but on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing happened to her when she got severely dehydrated.”
“She’s doing fine, she was even better last night before she went to sleep,” he continued.
Clinton’s “frequently” slip is not included in CBS’s broadcast of the interview or in a transcript it sent out Monday evening.
Clinton did not specify how many other times Hillary has passed out. Her first documented episode was in 2005, when she fainted during a constituent event while serving in the Senate. Her team claimed she was suffering from a stomach virus at the time.
A virus also felled Clinton in early Dec. 2012, when she was secretary of state. That incident was more serious, however. Clinton fell and hit her head, causing her to sustain a concussion and blood clot.
After Sunday’s episode, Clinton’s campaign announced she would not be attending fundraisers in California and one scheduled on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Bill Clinton will attend that event in her place.
“But she looked like a million bucks this morning I can tell she’s feeling a lot better,” he told Rose.
Richard Huff, the executive director of communications at CBS News, sent TheDC the following statement regarding the missing “frequently” in CBS Evening News’ Clinton segment.
“The clip in question from former President Clinton’s interview with Charlie Rose ran in its entirety on CBS THIS MORNING, CBSNews.com and on CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 digital streaming news service. One clip that ran on CBS Evening News was edited purely for time while on deadline for the live broadcast,” he said.