Clinton told FBI she couldn't recall all briefings after concussion
© Greg Nash

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment Outsider candidates outpoll insider candidates MORE told the FBI she did not receive any directions on preserving records as she prepared to leave the State Department, but a concussion kept her out of the office and she couldn't recall every briefing from that time.


“Clinton said she received no instructions or direction regarding the preservation or production of records from State during the transition out of her role as secretary of State in 2013,” read the FBI’s notes from its July interview with Clinton, released Friday. “However, in December of 2012, Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot [in her head]. Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received."

It's not clear from the report whether Clinton told the FBI the concussion directly affected her memory of briefings. She said several other times during the interview that she could not recall specific details related to her email server, including its initial set-up.

But the report's note about Clinton’s concussion could provide more ammunition for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE’s attacks on Clinton’s health.

Trump, the GOP’s presidential nominee, has repeatedly accused Clinton of lacking the physical health and stamina necessary for the presidency, and some right-wing media outlets have seized on her 2012 concussion.

Multiple Trump surrogates have advanced conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health.

Spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, for example, said last month Clinton has brain damage that impairs her communication abilities.

Pierson claimed Clinton suffers from dysphasia, a condition brought on by brain trauma that erodes a person’s speaking and language comprehension.

Clinton has been hounded over her use of a private server while at State since launching her campaign last year. GOP critics say Clinton’s technology habits may have avoided accountability and transparency and jeopardized sensitive national intelligence. 

FBI Director James Comey announced in July that he did not recommend charging Clinton with willfully mishandling classified information even though classified messages were discovered on the server.

Comey called Clinton’s server usage “extremely careless,” but said “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”