(WASHINGTON) — The State Department pushed back Wednesday against assertions made by conservatives that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is faking a serious injury to keep from testifying about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Earlier in the week, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, who served under then-President George W. Bush, told Fox News that the outgoing secretary had come down with what’s referred to as a “diplomatic illness,” which would give her an excuse not to answer lawmakers’ questions they have on the Benghazi siege that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.
Clinton has been laid up at home since last week when she reportedly collapsed from the effects of a stomach flu and suffered a mild concussion.
According to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, Bolton was out of line for insinuating that Clinton was feigning an illness, telling reporters, “I can assure you, [Bolton is] not privy to any inside information….It’s really unfortunate that in times like this people make wild speculation based on no information.”
Other conservatives have speculated that Clinton is faking a concussion, including blogger Lucianne Goldberg, who tweeted, “Hillary has given us a great new excuse. Don’t call in with a cold or a bad tooth. Just say you have a concussion. It can last for days.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Theodore Schleifer, CNN
Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN