Krauthammer: No Apology For Hillary; State Dept. Ought To Apologize
FOX News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer explains his "Benghazi flu" comment about Hillary Clinton and why he made it.
Krauthammer also says he will not apologize to Clinton and instead said it is the State Department who ought to apologize because they withheld information about her health and condition for the past two weeks.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I did say -- perhaps it was on Hannity, certainly it was on PBS -- that I didn't doubt that she had the flu; she had the fall and the concussion. What I didn't understand and it had to do with the way the information was released -- how what they were telling us about her condition for the first two weeks could explain her complete absence and disappearance for that time.
Remember, there was systematic withholding of information and also downplaying of information. For example, on the withholding, we still have no idea whether she got an MRI, at the time of her fall, or not and what it showed if she had one. We don't know if she had any neurologic symptoms in the two weeks. We didn't hear anything about it.
The State Department spokesman kept emphasizing that the reason she was still indisposed and was unable to appear at the hearings on Benghazi or elsewhere, was because, and I quote Victoria Nuland, 'she had a very uncomfortable stomach virus' and she was 'under the weather.'
Now, under the weather does not explain how one of the five most senior officials in the government, the Secretary of State, who has important appearances before the Congress, disappears for two weeks. And the complaint I made, I think it was on Special Report last week, was that we were getting as much information about her condition as we did about Hugo Chavez. So there was a downplay, it made it sound as if her problem was residual effects of a stomach flu, which I feel sympathy for her, but it doesn't explain in our day and age how a Secretary of State will be unseen, unheard of and get no information for two weeks. And that's what was troubling. It didn't connect.
And then on day 17, we get the story of the blood clot, which apparently, and again we're not 100% sure, as I understand, it was only discovered incidentally in a routine followup. Not because she had any symptoms. What we heard today, there were no neurologic symptoms and no deficits. And at that time, when they released the story from the hospital, it said they were looking at that and other issues related with her concussion. We had gotten no information in the two weeks of any complications as a result of her concussion. And they can be serious. Had we heard that from the State Department or her spokesman, of course I wouldn't have been tongue-in-cheek in speaking about the Benghazi allergy syndrome.
But what we were hearing about her condition, which I say involved the withholding of information as in the MRI, and the mitigating of it did not explain why she was absent. And that was the issue I had and that is why I was speaking in those terms. But I explicitly was asked about, I think on our PBS show, Inside Washington, 'are you saying it didn't happen?' And I said, 'no.' And I said on this show, I think that I take her word. It wasn't 'did any of this happen,' it was, 'can this, a stomach flu result in a two week disappearance?'
Krauthammer on an apology:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I have no apology to make because I've just explained why I did, as a result of the information that I received. And I would say that perhaps the State Department, if not apologize, ought to explain why it withheld information and why a lot of it mitigated what we now are hearing might have been a more serious set of circumstances. But we still don't know what she was suffering [from] in those two weeks.