Donald Trump tested out a new line of attack against rival Hillary Clinton this week, arguing that she is physically unfit for the commander-in-chief role.
At a Monday rally in Ohio, Trump -- who, at 70 years old, is nearly two years Clinton’s senior -- painted her as a candidate who “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all of the many adversaries we face.”
And he’s questioned her mental fitness before: Earlier this month at a New Hampshire campaign event, Trump called her a “totally unhinged person” and “unbalanced,” all while parroting back Clinton’s claim that she “short-circuited” while answering questions at a journalism conference.
Conservative media outlets have only bolstered Trump’s claims with their coverage, disseminating photos online of Clinton’s purported medical records originally published by a now-deleted Twitter account.
The medical documents, which were purported to be from Clinton’s physician, said she showed signs of “advancing Subcortical Vascular Dementia” and “frequent Complex Partial Seizures.” It said she complained of “blacking out for short periods of time” and had suffered from “uncontrollable twitching.” A brain scan image circulating online also professed to show there was an abnormality in Clinton’s brain tissue.
One problem: The documents were all fake. And according to the Democratic nominee’s physician, Clinton is healthy enough to occupy the Oval Office.
In a report Tuesday, FactCheck.org examined the screenshots of the alleged medical records and confirmed with Clinton’s doctor, Dr. Lisa Bardack, that they were “false, were not written by me and are not based on any medical facts.” In a statement, Bardack added that the candidate is “in excellent health and fit to serve as President of the United States.”
The fact checking outlet also noticed a few other inconsistencies in the documents that supposedly came from Bardack’s office. For one, Bardack’s title was incorrect at the top of the fake letterhead.
Bardack, the director of internal medicine at Mount Sinai Health System at CareMount Medical, released a public letter evaluating Clinton’s health in July 2015.
The letter outlined various ailments Clinton had suffered in the past, including a concussion in 2012.
“As a result of the concussion, Mrs. Clinton also experienced double vision for a period of time and benefitted from wearing glasses with a Fresnel Prism,” Bardack wrote. “Her concussion symptoms, including the double vision, resolved within two months.”
In that letter, Bardack also noted that Clinton was advised to take blood thinning anticoagulation medicine to address her deep vein thrombosis. Clinton takes other medications to address her hypothyroidism, a common condition especially among older adults.
Overall, Bardack said last year, Clinton “is a healthy 67-year-old female” with a “healthy” lifestyle -- not, as some conservative outlets would claim, a woman who suffers from advancing dementia or partial seizures.