Hillary Clinton has not experienced any sustained after-effects from the concussion that sidelined her from her work at the State Department in late 2012 and early 2013, the former secretary of state told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview in advance of the release of her new memoir, “Hard Choices.”
“No lingering effects,” Clinton told Sawyer, when asked whether she had experienced any.
“No,” Clinton affirmed, when asked whether she still notices effects of any kind.
The first piece of the interview with Clinton will air tonight on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer,” and the full interview will air during a one-hour ABC News prime time special on Monday, June 9, at 9 p.m. ET. ABC’s Robin Roberts will follow up with Clinton’s first live interview, on Tuesday, June 10, on “Good Morning America.”
Ill and dehydrated while suffering from a stomach virus in December 2012, Clinton fainted and fell at her home, sustaining a concussion, her spokesman and doctors announced. After a follow-up exam revealed a blood clot in her head, requiring blood thinners and another hospital stay, Clinton returned work Jan. 7, 2013.
Clinton told Sawyer that her concussion was “serious” and that she experienced double vision and dizziness for a “short period” afterward. She also revealed that she will likely take blood thinners for the rest of her life.
Recently, Republican strategist Karl Rove resurrected the issue of Clinton’s concussion, suggesting that Clinton might have sustained a “brain injury” – an assertion that both Hillary and Bill Clinton have vehemently denied.
“I know he was called Bush's brain in one of the books written about him,” Clinton said, “and, I wish him well.”
During the interview, Clinton noted that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has also had concussions. The 44-year-old Republican congressman and former Republican vice presidential nominee, known for his intense physical fitness regimen, told Clinton as much after she suffered hers when she ran into him at Obama’s inauguration in 2013, Clinton recalled.
“I said, ‘congressman, did you ever have a concussion?’ He said, ‘I had several. I've had three. And the last one was serious. But my mother was smart enough to make me stay in,’” Clinton said, recounting the conversation. "Because what happens to athletes, soldiers, young people in car accidents, all the reasons that people get concussions, is they kind of shake it off.”
The former secretary of state “felt it was kind a silly that I was told to stay in bed” resting on doctors’ orders instead of going back to work, she said. Doctors would later discover a blood clot in her head.
“The doctors said, ‘No, you're going to stay and rest because then you will have a complete recovery.’ So fast forward, I go home for Christmas, go to New York for Christmas. And I want to go back to work. And so my doctors say, ‘OK, let's just do -- you know, an M.R.I. to make sure that everything's healing as we think it is,’” Clinton, 66, said.
“So here's what they say. They say, ‘The good news is the concussion is totally resolving, like we told you, it's going to be fine. But the bad news is, you've developed a clot behind your right ear and let's immediately go to the hospital because we have to immediately put you on blood thinners.’”
Clinton also confirmed that if she were to run for president, she would release her medical records.
“I would do what other candidates have done,” she said. “Absolutely.”
And what did Clinton make of Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s quip earlier this year that the potential 2016 Democratic presidential ticket “is shaping up to look like a re-run of ‘The Golden Girls.’”
“That was a very popular, long-running TV series,” Clinton joked.