Video of Hillary Clinton showing signs of illness has been quite the focus of conspiracy theorists these past couple of days.
Clinton left early from a 9/11 memorial event Sunday in downtown Manhattan after she became overheated and dehydrated, her campaign later said. A video of her getting into a van and nearly fainting soon circulated online followed by another video of her later that day in which she was healthy enough to greet supporters outside her daughter’s apartment building in New York. The internet went wild.
It’s not the first time that Clinton has been the subject of health-related conspiracy theories but Sunday may have stoked the fire more than any other time in recent history. From body doubles to neurological disorders, here’s a brief roundup:
Did She Have A Seizure?
One of the top theories to come out of Sunday was that Clinton was wearing anti-seizure sunglasses in the videos (which, of course, is not necessarily an indication she experiences seizures).
Conservative website InfoWars —which is run by Alex Jones, a man the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the “most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America” — claimed that Secret Service sources told them that Clinton experiences seizures at public events and that the sunglasses' blue lenses looked a lot like “Zeiss Z1” blue lenses that research has suggested can be used to treat epilepsy.
Of course, blue sunglass lenses aren’t all that uncommon (and the color happens to be a pretty dominant theme for her campaign), but InfoWars has you covered if you're worried she's making a fashion statement:
“Given her lack of fashion concerns – she’s regularly seen wearing pantsuits everywhere she goes – it’s unlikely her blue sunglasses were meant as a fashion statement,” they wrote.
Image concerns and sunglasses aside, Clinton’s doctor has already detailed any ailments the former secretary of state may have. She has hyperthyroidism and seasonal allergies, her doctor wrote in a letter this year, but is “a healthy female.” There was no mention of epilepsy or her being prone to seizures. The campaign plans to release further health details this week.
Does Clinton Have A Body Double?
After Clinton was seen outside her daughter’s apartment in Manhattan, waving and smiling at supporters, her detractors quickly wondered how she had recovered so quickly after what seemed like a fainting spell hours earlier. So, they reasoned, the best possible explanation was there must have been an imposter.
Let us introduce you to Teresa Barnwell, a Clinton impersonator since the 1990s who sent a joke tweet that introduced the mystery and stoked the conspiracy fires. "Maybe I was in NYC today…you never know!" she wrote.
Barnwell eventually took down the tweet because it was bringing her too much attention, she said before telling Newsweek she hadn’t been in New York City that day and was instead on a photo shoot with a Bill Clinton impersonator in Los Angeles.
Still, even though she denied having deceived the public about Clinton's recovery, people kept on analyzing the video for small signs — was the nose slightly different? Was she thinner? — of a body double.
“Donald Trump’s campaign is fueled by one conspiracy theory after another,” Clinton campaign spokesman Glen Caplin told Newsweek. “You would think that at this point you couldn’t be surprised by the crazy conspiracy theories being trumped up, but this one is so insane that even a Sandy Hook denier like InfoWars isn’t buying it.”
Why Does Hillary Clinton Love Pillows So Much?
There are plenty of other conspiracy theories that we could end this list with. For instance, Trump has said she takes too many naps and one of his campaign surrogates once accused her of having “dysphasia,” a language disorder marked by deficiencies in generating speech. However, the pillows mystery might be the most fun.
The center-right, libertarian news, opinion and politics website Heat Street had a bombshell of a post last month. They noted that a series of photos of Clinton shared more than just her presence: pillows were there, too. From speaking conferences to international trips in Germany to stops on her book tour, each picture had a pillow on her chair. In one of the pictures, Clinton takes a campaign pillow from a talk show host and ends up resting her arm on it after she puts it down on the couch. So, Heat Street deduced, she must need pillows.
Conspiracy theories aside, Clinton has proven time again she can hold her body up without pillows. So maybe she just really, really likes pillows?