These remarks have gotten very little attention. But they’re quite remarkable. In his interview with NBC News, Dr. Harold Bornstein, Donald Trump’s freakshow doctor, pretty clearly implies that he’s had improper access to Hillary Clinton’s medical records and says her health history is “really not so good.”
As my colleague Catherine Thompson pointed out to me a few moments ago, the comment is almost Trumpian in its vagueness – enough to be pretty clear what he wants us to hear but also vague enough for plenty of deniability.
Here’s the quote from Bornstein.
“I guess [Trump] called and he said the Clinton Organization was going to publish a letter on her health, and I know her physician, and I know some of her health history, which is really not so good, so I said ‘Why not. I would do that for you too.’”
Remember: this conversation would have happened at the end of last year. So long before Trump’s cronies started spreading phony stories about Clinton being on death’s door. So even setting aside the falsity of those conspiracy theories, he couldn’t be talking about them since none of that had happened yet last December.
Bornstein doesn’t directly say that he learned Clinton’s health history from Clinton’s doctor, Dr. Lisa Bardack. He just says he knows Bardack, that he knows some of Clinton’s health history and that it’s not good. Maybe he’s just saying that he knows stuff in the public domain. But there’s really nothing problematic in the public domain about Clinton’s health history. And far more importantly, there’s zero logic to mentioning that he knows Clinton’s doctor other than to imply that that relationship gave him knowledge that is not known to others.
Again, simply no logic other than that.
Now, let me be crystal clear on one point: I think Bornstein’s just BS’ing here. I doubt he knows anything. It would be an extremely serious legal violation (HIPAA) if Clinton’s doctor had shared Clinton’s medical records with Bornstein and, if she had, for Bornstein to evaluate it publicly without Clinton’s permission or consent. But having talked to a number of doctors, even he’s making it up, it would still be a major problem for Bornstein with the state medical board.
More generally, what kind of doctor talks like this? Casually suggests he’s been party to a major HIPAA violation and trashes someone’s health? I think we know the answer: Trump’s doctor.
Another point: I’m not the only one who caught this. The video appeared first on Rachel Maddow’s show. Rachel briefly noted the inappropriateness of Bornstein’s saying this but then went on to discuss other issues. (I first heard about this because someone flagged it to my attention on Twitter. If you’d like to see the video, you see it at this link at 4:50 in.)
This seems to require explanation. Has anyone asked Bornstein whether he’s had improper access to Clinton’s medical records? Has anyone asked Lisa Bardack if the two even know each other – not that there’d be anything wrong with that. Was he suggesting that he was familiar with Clinton’s medical records?