Hillary Clinton’s coat, worn on her Sunday visit to Nantucket, Massachusetts, has fueled a conspiracy theory that she is dying. CREDIT:AP PHOTO/CAROLYN KASTER
Days after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his campaign surrogates elevated a series of debunked conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health, a top Trump campaign official went even further on Sunday. John E. Jaggers, Trump’s Northern Virginia and Maryland state director and a veteran Tea Party leader, told a Moms for Trump rally that Clinton would not survive through even the first year of her presidency.
“This woman is very, very sick and they’re covering it up. You’re not so much talking about Hillary Clinton being president for eight years, you’re talking about Tim Kaine being president for eight years. Because that’s what we’re dealing with here,” Jaggers said, according to the Loudoun Times.
“How many of you would wear a wool coat in August?” Jaggers the attendees, “The woman who seeks to be the first female president of the United States wears a wool coat at every single thing. Have you ever stopped to wonder why? It’s a big deal, folks.”
He appeared to be referencing a new claim by pro-masculinity activist and Hillary Clinton health conspiracy theorist Michael Cernovich that the former Secretary of State must be seriously ill because she was photographed wearing what he termed a “wool coat” on a recent visit to breezy Nantucket, Massachusetts (the low was just 61 degrees).
Trump, of course, frequently gives speeches wearing a full suit with coat, even in warm weather, as have most presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton also wore a coat in a Labor Day 2007 campaign speech without incident, nine years ago.
Beyond being a factually-inaccurate attack, Jaggers’ comments are odd for two reasons. Kaine has been elected statewide in Virginia each time he has run — most recently by 5 points in his 2012 U.S. Senate race. Additionally, by suggesting Kaine will be in office for eight years, Jaggers concedes that he is likely to be re-elected.
The smears about Clinton’s health have been totally debunked by her physician and FactCheck.org. In an effort to full disprove the Trump campaign’s conspiracy theories, Clinton laughingly demonstrated her fitness on Monday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! by opening a jar of pickles on national television.