... the Drudge Report, WorldNetDaily and a small army of would-be Twitter sleuths [have] tried to build the case that the Democratic nominee for president has serious health issues and only they had noticed.There's more. Right-wingers are again sharing a YouTube video posted last month that supposedly shows Hillary Clinton having a seizure (in June); it actually shows her trying to do an exaggerated comic recoil after two reporters close in on her to ask her a question, as another video of the same incident shows. And elsewhere, Mike Cernovich -- described by Weigel as "a self-help author best known as the attorney for a central figure in the 'Gamergate' saga" -- speculates that the Secret Service agent who rushed to Clinton's side during a recent protest by animal rights activists is actually a medical professional who travels with Clinton to help her stave off a stroke or a seizure.
... The highest-profile #HillarysHealth discovery came at the American Mirror, an obscure conservative news site with what it packaged as a scoop -- "SHOCK PHOTO" -- but had been aggregated from Twitter.
... the site's editor, Kyle Olson ... shared two photos of Clinton, shot from behind, being helped as she unsteadily ascended the stairs. He left out the context: The photos were from February. As CNN's Brian Stelter first noticed, Getty Images had published the photos during Clinton's South Carolina primary campaign. The photo agency noted, in its caption, that Clinton had been steadied after slipping on the stairs.
But the American Mirror's version of the story went viral, with help from the Drudge Report.
(This story is being pushed by Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit. Yesterday, Hoft, citing Cernovich, posted analyses of photos showing this Secret Service agent, in an effort to prove that the agent carries an anti-seizure epi-pen for Clinton at all times.)
Oh, and Paul Canning notes, this speculation is also being relayed by Trump's Russian pals at RT.com.
Why is this happening now? Weigel's Washington Post colleague Aaron Blake explains why Trump is speculating about Clinton's health:
Last week, the speculation over Donald Trump's mental health kicked into high gear. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough asked whether Trump was a "sociopath." A former Harvard Medical School dean said Trump was the very definition of narcissistic personality disorder. A Democratic congressman called him "mentally unstable." Mark Cuban called him "bats--- crazy." Dr. Drew even weighed in because ... well, Dr. Drew....But as Weigel notes, it isn't just Trump who's doing this -- it's Trump's fanbase in the right-wing media as well. Weigel cautiously says that Trump's personal attacks on Clinton along these lines took place "at the same time" as the wingnuttosphere's attacks. Do you believe that's a coincidence?
Trump's response? Pull the "unstable" label off himself and slap it on his opponent.
The Republican nominee spent much of the weekend arguing that it is actually Hillary Clinton who is mentally ill -- not him. Call it Trump's (to borrow a playground retort) "I know you are, but what am I" strategy.
On Friday, he told a Des Moines crowd that Clinton was "pretty close to unhinged, and you've seen it. ... She's like an unbalanced person."
He pushed even harder over the weekend. "Honestly, I don't think she's all there," Trump said Saturday night in New Hampshire. "She took a short-circuit in the brain," he added. He also called her "unstable," "unbalanced" and "totally unhinged."
... Trump does this often. He'll be attacked for one thing or another and look to muddy the waters by arguing the same thing applies to someone else -- usually Clinton.
I don't think I'm making a large leap of faith when I say that word clearly went out from Team Trump to sympathetic conservative media outlets that it was time to dredge up all the rumors about Clinton's health. I don't believe it was spontaneous.
It's not as if the health problems Clinton actually has are being covered up. Go here for a 2015 New York Times story that reports on her 2012 concussion and blood clot, as well as her ongoing use of the anti-clot drug Coumadin and thyroid-regulating medicine.
Well, at least this story can't be revived, at least in its original form:
The National Enquirer, which is published by Trump's close friend David Pecker, said Clinton had six months to live in the issue dated October 12, 2015.
That was ten months ago.