hillary clinton.jpg
Photograph: EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went into damage control on Monday to explain her near collapse after leaving a 9-11 memorial service a day earlier, saying she had not heeded her doctor's advice.

Clinton admitted she had "felt dizzy" and lost her balance for a minute after leaving the service in New York City Sunday morning when she felt "overheated."

She told CNN her doctor diagnosed pneumonia on Friday and told her to rest for a few days, but she ignored the advice then because she didn't think it was going to become a problem.

"If you are a busy, active person, you keep moving forward," Clinton said of her decision to attend the service Sunday in New York City for the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Clinton, 68, said she left the service when she felt overheated but felt better after she got into an air-conditioned van and drank some water. She said she thought coughing fits she had experienced earlier in the week were caused by allergies.

After resting at her home in Chappaqua, New York, she said she would return to the campaign trail as soon as possible.

Clinton was criticized for not disclosing her diagnosis earlier and having a penchant for privacy.

Her campaign only released details about her illness after a video showing her unsteady on her feet before she stumbled into a van with assistance from aides was broadcast on television and distributed on the internet.

She defended herself in the interview with CNN, saying she had "already met a high standard of transparency."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was restrained in his reaction to Clinton's health episode. He said early Monday that he hoped Clinton "gets well soon."

"The coughing fit was a week ago, so I assume that was pneumonia also," Trump said in an interview with broadcaster Fox News.

"Something's going on, but I just hope she gets well and gets back on the trail, and we'll be seeing her at the debate," he said.

The billionaire real estate tycoon has brought up Clinton's state of health often in campaign stops, arguing that she doesn't have the "strength and stamina" to be president.

Trump claimed that candidates' health was a legitimate campaign issue, and said he had undergone a physical in recent days.

"I'll be releasing very, very specific numbers," the 70-year-old magnate said of his medical exam. "I think they're going to be good; I feel great."

Trump focused his comments Mondy on critical remarks Clinton made about his supporters, saying they disqualified "her from public service."

Speaking at a campaign stop in Baltimore, Maryland, Trump said, "you cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter, and she does. You can't lead this nation if you have such a low opinion for its citizens."

At a fundraiser Friday, Clinton said, "You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic - you name it."

She later added: "Some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America."

According to Trump, Clinton's comments reflected a "hatred and derision for the people who make this country run," as well as a "contempt for the people who thanklessly follow the rules, pay their taxes and scratch out a living for their family; a hard-earned living, too."

It was, he said, an unprecedented and "explicit attack on the American voter."

Defending his supporters, Trump said that those who want immigration laws enforced "are not racists," and those who support the police "are not prejudiced."

"People who warn about radical Islamic terrorism are not Islamophobes. They're not. They are decent American citizens who want to uphold our tolerant values and keep our country safe."

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