An ill Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fainted and suffered a concussion but was recovering at home, the State Department announced Saturday.
She will not testify on Capitol Hill next week about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya as previously scheduled.
“While suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion,” State Department aide Philippe Reines said in a statement. “She has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors. At their recommendation, she will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with Department and other officials. She is looking forward to being back in the office soon.”
Clinton, 65, had been slated to testify Thursday about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. A spokeswoman for Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) told The Hill Clinton will instead send two deputies to testify in her place.
“Senator Kerry was relieved to hear that the secretary is on the mend, but he insisted that given her condition, she could not and should not appear on Thursday as previously planned, and that the nation’s best interests are served by the report and hearings proceeding as scheduled with senior officials appearing in her place,” Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth said.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said Clinton had been excused from appearing before her committee, but said she would have to testify eventually.
“I am sorry to learn of Secretary Clinton’s ill health and I wish her a quick and full recovery,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement, according to Politico. “It is, however, unfortunate that Secretary Clinton is unable to testify next week before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the investigation into the terrorist attack that killed four Americans and left others injured.”
Ros-Lehtinen added, “We have been combing through classified and unclassified documents and have tough questions about State Department threat assessments and decision-making on Benghazi. This requires a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself. Other cabinet secretaries involved should also be held publicly accountable.”
No details were immediately given on when or where Clinton fainted, though NBC News reported it occurred earlier in the week, not on Saturday.
Clinton, who is expected to leave her post soon as secretary of state, skipped an overseas trip this week due to the stomach virus.
This post has been updated.
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