Analysis

Will Republicans apologize for accusing Hillary Clinton of faking her concussion?

The secretary of state has been admitted to the hospital for a potentially serious blood clot

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital to undergo treatment for a blood clot, a potentially serious condition stemming from a concussion she suffered earlier this month. Aides say that Clinton, 65, is currently being treated with blood thinners, and that further action may be required to prevent the clot from worsening. In a worst-case scenario, the clot, if located in the head, could cause a brain hemorrhage.

The concussion forced Clinton to cancel weeks' worth of engagements, including scheduled testimony before Congress on the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Republicans have been highly critical of President Obama's response to Benghazi, with many suggesting that the administration tried to cover up the incident. Clinton's illness prompted several conservative commentators and prominent members of the GOP to speculate that she was faking her concussion to avoid testifying. John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, described Clinton's condition as a "diplomatic illness." Ousted Rep. Allen West (Fla.) said, "I'm not a doctor, but it seems as though — that the secretary of state has come down with a case of Benghazi flu." Charles Krauthammer, the influential conservative columnist, told Sean Hannity of Fox News that Clinton had likely come down with "acute Benghazi allergy," which led Hannity to respond, "Let's see the medical report on that." Other conservative news outlets also demanded a medical report.

Now that Clinton's condition has taken a more worrisome turn, will these Republicans offer their apologies? "I'm not holding my breath," says PBS's Jeff Greenfield. The fake Clinton concussion will probably join a long list of conservative conspiracy theories that, despite overwhelming evidence to contrary, continue to thrive in certain corners of the GOP (see: Obama was born in Kenya, the polls are skewed, et al.). Indeed, it's just as likely that the fake Clinton concussion will morph into the fake Clinton blood clot.

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