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CNN's Top 10 of 2012; Clinton Hospitalized for Blood Clot; Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Still Ongoing

Aired December 30, 2012 - 20:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hello. I'm Don Lemon, and this is CNN's TOP 10 OF 2012.

This hour we look at the stories that captured our attention, what we see as the biggest stories of the year around the world. In crime, money, weather, and even the biggest scandals. And later this hour, the big reveal of the most intriguing people of the year as chosen by you.

We begin with the topic that dominated our coverage for much of the year.

Here's CNN's chief political correspondent and anchor of "STATE OF THE UNION," Candy Crowley with the top political stories of 2012.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Picking the top 10 moments of an election year is like finding your favorite grain of sand on the beach. There are an impossible number of possibilities. There are the moments when catch phrases become boomerangs.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you've got a business, that -- you didn't build that.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like being able to fire people that provide services to me.

CROWLEY: When cast members stole the spotlight.

SANDRA FLUKE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW STUDENT: I'm an American woman who uses contraceptions. So let's start there.

ERIC FEHRNSTROM, CHIEF ADVISOR TO MITT ROMNEY: It's almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.

CROWLEY: And a fair number of moments ranging from ridiculous to --


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

LEMON: Pardon the interruption, everyone, I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

You see it there at the bottom of your screen, Hillary Clinton in the hospital. We're just getting this -- I'm just reading it. We are told Hillary Clinton is in the hospital following an exam today. They are saying that they -- doctors discovered a blood clot had formed stemming from a concussion that she had sustained several weeks ago. She's being treated, we're told, with anticoagulants at the New York Presbyterian Hospital so they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours.

And as you know, doctors had been treating her because she had -- for a stomach virus that they believe. She was weak from that, then she fell and -- and that led to a concussion. And so when she went in for a checkup today, doctors discovered this clot, not exactly saying where this clot where doctors found it.

Again, we're just getting this new information in. Bear with me because this is just coming in as we're speaking. But again, she's being treated with anticoagulants here. Let me get -- there's more information coming in here.

This is in a course of a follow-up exam today. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, doctors discovered a blood clot had formed. Again it doesn't say where it had formed. Stemming from the concussion she suffered several weeks ago. She's being treated, again, with anticoagulants at New York Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours.

They said her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion. They will determine if any further action is required.

We haven't seen the Secretary of State in quite some time because she has been ill, and, of course, there has been some criticism that she has not gone before a committee to testify about the situation with the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, but as we know now and hearing from her doctors, the Secretary of State is in poor health, at least relatively speaking for a woman who has been in good health since we have known her to be on the political scene since the 1980s.

Again, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a blood clot, not exactly sure where, but a blood clot has formed in her body and she is in the hospital being treated now at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

We'll give you more updates here on CNN as soon as we get them, as soon as we get them, on the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. I'm Don Lemon.


CROWLEY: On the flip side.

ROMNEY: He's going to be the next vice president of the United States. CROWLEY: Romney's VP day may well have been the best moment of his campaign, the selection of Congressman Paul Ryan excited conservatives in a way Romney himself had not.

How many moments are there in an hour and a half? The president lost all of them in the first debate. The pictures tell the story of a man who phoned it in, panicking his supporters and providing an opening for Romney.

(On camera): And finally, the top three moments of the election best described as history-making politics.

(Voice-over): A Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare, and if that doesn't strike you as political, consider what would have happened on the campaign trail if the high court had struck down the president's signature first-term achievement.

OBAMA: At a certain point, I've just concluded that, for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.

CROWLEY: The first president to endorse same-sex marriage was a daily double moment. Good politics aimed at an activist wing of his party base and most certainly history.

And finally, the number one political moment of the year is easy during elections.

WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: CNN projects that Barack Obama will be reelected president of the United States.

OBAMA: We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.

CROWLEY (on camera): For Auld Lang Syne, queue the confetti, and then say goodbye to 2012 and all its moments, historical and hysterical.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: Civil unrest, a new dictator, and a teen who took on the Taliban. They're among our top 10 international stories of 2012.

Here's CNN's Zain Verjee.


ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (on camera): Can you believe it is already the end of the year? Actually, the Mayan calendar said it would be the end of the world, but oh, my goodness, look at this, we're still here and we are heading into 2013.

There were so many headlines this year, so many important stories of 2012, from conflict, hopelessness, to inspiration and hope, and we also made sure we had a little bit of fun. Take a look.

(Voice-over): Number 10.


VERJEE: The queen of England celebrated her diamond jubilee year. It rained on her flotilla parade, but it didn't take the sparkle out of the magical moments. Millions lined the streets, millions more tuned in for this famous wave.

Number nine. September 11th in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed in a terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission there. American officials first suggested it was spontaneous, sparked by a protest over a controversial anti- Muslim film. The White House's handling of the attack became a political hot button.

Number eight. A political transition in North Korea, but no freedom here in the hermit kingdom. Kim Jong-Un took over for his father. The West hoped there would be change but there wasn't. At year's end, it flexed its military and technological muscle with its first rocket launch successfully placing a satellite in orbit.

Number seven. Brutality by police and private security was out in the open in South Africa where the killing of minors was captured on camera and broadcast everywhere. Miners were protesting, demanding higher wages. The price they had to pay shocked the world.

Number six. Ten more years. The Communist Party of China selected new leaders. The secretive process produced a new president, Xi Jinping, an L.A. Lakers fan married to a rock star. But China's foreign policies are likely to stay the same, though the new leaders under pressure to deal with corruption and poverty at home.

Number five. Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group, became president of Egypt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Celebrate the victory of Mohamed Morsi.

VERJEE: As his predecessor a dictator ousted by his people went on trial from his hospital bed, Morsi impressed the West by helping to broker the ceasefire that ended an outbreak of warfare between Hamas and Israel. He then disappointed many by awarding himself sweeping new powers at home, triggering new outbursts of anger in Tahrir Square.

Number four. Israel and Hamas poured fuel on the fiery unrest in the region. One side firing rockets. The other launching missile strikes against targets in Gaza. For the first time, Israel felt vulnerable in Jerusalem in Tel Aviv, the site of this bus attack in the waning days of the conflict before the big guns of diplomacy helped broker a ceasefire.

Number three. In Europe, Greece was the problem child that spent too much, saved nothing, and threatened to take down the euro. New leadership didn't stop constant violent protests staged by those facing loss of jobs, pay cuts, higher taxes, as their weary government begs for more cash. Europe's leaders, including the new French president, Francois Hollande, committed to save the euro. It lives on, but for how long?

Number two.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The deadliest month to date as the Assad regime intensified its use of air power.

VERJEE: One of the questions most asked in 2012 was how much longer can this man hold on to power, Bashar a al-Assad was under ever-more intense pressure to step down, but his regime stepped up the fire power against the opposition. Civilians caught in the crossfire, more than 40,000 people have died so far.

DAMON: This is yet another bread line.

VERJEE: The opposition fights on, making more dramatic gains than ever and gaining pledges of additional support from the international community.

Number one. She fought back from the brink of death after being attacked on a school bus. The Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head because she was an outspoken advocate for the education of girls in Pakistan, but books won over bullets. The 15-year-old miraculously survived. Malala woke up in a British hospital, and according to her father, immediately asked for her school books.

The world was gripped, moved, and inspired by the story of one determined young girl facing down an entire network of armed militants and winning.

Zain Verjee, CNN, London.


LEMON: Next, the stories that made news for all the wrong reasons. Criminal acts that claimed far too many lives.

And later, scandal, professional athletes, national leaders, even the royal family. No one was immune from it in 2012.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

LEMON: I'm Don Lemon in the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. The breaking news is that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in a New York hospital right now being treated for a blood clot. The Secretary of State being treated for a blood clot.

This all happened after she fell after suffering a stomach flu. She -- she got dizzy and she went back in for a checkup and her doctors have told us, we've gotten this word from a spokesperson that after that treatment today they noticed something unusual. They discovered a blood clot had formed stemming from the concussion she sustained several weeks ago.

Now here's the thing, one would assume because it was a concussion that it may be the clot might be in her brain or in her head. We -- they're not saying that specifically, so we don't know exactly where it was found. If she's being treated, it can be found anywhere, so we're not making that but she is being treated for a blood clot. She had sustained a concussion several weeks ago when she became dizzy and lost balance because she was sick. Apparently, a stomach virus or a stomach flu.

Doctors at New York Presbyterian are treating her with anticoagulants, we are told, so they can monitor the medication over the next couple of hours, 48 hours she's going to be in the hospital at least that long. They are going to continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion, and then they're going to determine whether any further action is required.

The interesting thing is that she had just been cleared to go back to work after suffering this. She sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting on December 15th.

Elise Labott is in Washington now.

Elise, she'd just been cleared to return back to work next week after that nasty stomach flu and the concussion that sidelined her for weeks. And now we're hearing this. What do you know?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Really that's all we know, it's a cryptic statement just, Don, that the -- that she suffered this blood clot. And -- you know, in a -- in a routine exams that she's been having, she has been regularly monitored by her doctors for the last several weeks since she had this stomach flu, since she had the concussions and they had cleared her to go back to work next week, as you said, and there was one kind of final exam today, I guess, one last check, if you will, before she went back to work later in the week and they found this blood clot.

Obviously, something like that very serious. It's a good thing they caught it, because, as you know, those kind of things can creep up on you and get very serious. So, obviously, being monitored very closely over the next 48 hours.

I'm pretty clear that she won't be coming back to work this week and we'll continue to hope that she has a speedy recovery.

LEMON: Elise, stand by and help me out here with this breaking news, because she had -- as I said she had been cleared to go to work and you have been saying this after this nasty bout with the stomach flu and a concussion that sidelined her, it was three weeks ago.

And from a spokesperson just a few days ago said the secretary continues to recuperate at home. She has had long planned -- she had long planned to take this holiday week off, and this was before, obviously, she went into the hospital today, with no work schedule.

She spent the holidays with her family after working from home for the past week. Her doctors, in a statement released last weekend, the one before this one, said she -- they told her to cancel all work events and rest and avoid any strenuous activity and that she was recovering from a stomach flu when she fainted and suffered a concussion.

And then now, Elise, she was supposed to go back to work and then go and testify about the consulate attack on September 11th in Benghazi, Libya. And -- but it appears that her situation and her health have gotten worse just over the last couple of days.

And again, this is not, you know, any sort of grave announcement or -- because she -- you know, she went to the doctor and they found something and they're treating it with medication.

Elise, stand by, because I want to go now to Doctor -- Doctor, I'm sorry? OK. Thank you. Dr. Keith Black, he is the chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedar Sinai Medical Center.

Doctor, thank you very much for joining us. This is all very free flowing and fluid. We just got the information. From what you've been able to hear, if you've been able to read anything or hear us here on CNN, what can you tell us about this?

DR. KEITH BLACK, DEPARTMENT OF NEUROSURGERY, CEDAR SINAI MEDICAL CENTER: Obviously, there's very limited information that we have in the public, but the description of a blood clot actually is most likely to be a clot in the leg called a deep venous thrombosis or a DVT. These are more commonly caused by a person being immobilized for a long period of time and not having the venous blood flow through the legs.

Particularly if the treatment is going to be to put her on a blood thinner or anticoagulation therapy, even though she had a recent concussion, one would have to assume that her MRI scans or CT scans showed no evidence of bleeding inside the brain, because if there were bleeding in the brain that would be an absolutely contraindication to put one on a blood thinner.

You know, and -- you know, these are -- these clots that occur in the leg, if that is what she has, are fairly common as we get older, if one is immobilized, and the reason to put one on a blood thinner is to prevent these clots from getting larger and causing a clot that can basically break off and spread to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism, which can, at times, be fatal.

LEMON: And Doctor, when you -- you know, when we talk about DVT or deep vein thrombosis usually the recommendation is if you're traveling overseas on flights, and that's probably -- maybe possibly why her doctor said no travel. They tell you to get up and move around. If you're -- if you're stationary, if you have to be in the bed for a long time, they tell you to try and get up and move around.

And we became aware of DVT -- if this is indeed what it is, remember David Bloom, the -- the NBC correspondent during the Gulf War, when that contributed to his death. So, again, this is -- again, making a leap here, this is not -- we don't know how serious it is with Hillary Clinton, it could be, you know, very minor, and they're just treating her for it. But that's how we learned about DVTs.

BLACK: Right, exactly right. And these are, you know, not uncommon and it's something that everyone should be aware of. And I think it's a learning opportunity for your listening and your viewing audience.

The one thing, though, is that the way to prevent DVT or a blood clot from occurring in the leg is to be mobile, particularly if you have a long flight, get up, stretch your legs, you know, move your feet around so that those -- you know, the blood doesn't remain stagnant. But once you get a DVT, usually the treatment is to not move around too much until the blood thinners have had a chance to take effect, because you do not want to dislodge a clot that's already formed and have that clot break off and flow towards the lungs.

LEMON: So, again, you're assuming this and you're saying because of the type of injury and what's happened, is this sort of a classic case of something like this happens it's usually a DVT? You don't think it's anything in her head?

BLACK: Well, I -- you know, they -- when one describes a blood clot, you know, the more likely scenario in the situation has a clot that occurred in the leg, although it could be a clot that occurs elsewhere. If the reports that I've heard that the treatment that they're planning for the secretary is to put her on a -- put her on a blood thinner, then I would essentially assume that there's not a clot within the brain.

LEMON: Right.

BLACK: Because one would not want to treat with blood thinners a person if they did have an active clot within the brain itself.

LEMON: Doctor, can you stick with us, please, and help us through this coverage? We're going to take a quick break here, but I'm going to tell the viewers, this is breaking news coverage. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, in the hospital now being treated for a blood clot, being treated for a blood clot.

As you know, she got dizzy and fell after she suffered a stomach virus earlier in December and her doctors told her not to go back to work and so now Hillary Clinton in the hospital. We're going to have continuing coverage of this breaking news story after a very quick break.

Don't go anywhere.


LEMON: Don Lemon here at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. The breaking news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the hospital being treated for a blood clot.

I want to get directly now to our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin.

Jessica, nearing the end of her tenure. JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: She is ending -- nearing the end of her tenure. It has been an exceptional tenure in that she has hit a record for the amount of travel she's done.

President Obama called her tireless and extraordinary recently. She did 400 travel days, nearly a million miles, and it's sort of surprising to everybody that at the very tail end she's had this very rough bout with this last two weeks where she suffered the concussion and has been out of the spotlight, Don.

This is somebody who has been almost perpetually in the public eye and in the national consciousness since, you know, she broke on to the scene during the Clinton presidency. You know, the one thing that's so ironic about this is that there were so many doubters who challenged the claim that she was even sick and said the reason she was ill and out of the public eye was because she was trying to, remember, duck those Benghazi hearings.

You remember that a few weeks ago.


YELLIN: And there were people, critics, who insisted she was hiding from trying to have to testify before Congress. Obviously, we know that's not the case and unfortunately it has to be proven by this circumstance. And so we know -- we all know that she has been sick, but everybody insisting that she's going to be fine. It's just sort of unfortunate that Hillary Clinton has to be wrapping up her tenure in this way.

LEMON: Yes, and she -- I heard today on CNN there was a poll about who could be the next president of the United States, and Hillary Clinton's name is high up on the list, if not number one when it comes to that. And she has told -- during interviews, she's told reporters, she's also told her husband, the former President Bill Clinton, that she doesn't want to do it, because by the time it came around, she felt that it would just -- she might be too not -- she might be tired and too old for it.

Hillary Clinton is 65 years old now and the work schedule and traveling all over the world, Jess, is grueling.

YELLIN: But I think -- there's also -- the way that it sounds like it unfolded, this illness, it was sort of a cascade effect, you know, she got the flu and we all know the story now. After all this travel, she -- it sounds like, though, she really needed a break, and I wouldn't be surprised if despite all her denials and her staff's denials.

LEMON: She did.

YELLIN: And every Democrat's denials comes 2014, 2015, we see a Hillary Clinton for president campaign start to gear up. Not that she's planning it now, but it may just be beyond her. There might just be so much demand for it by the Democratic -- in the Democratic Party that she ends up getting recruited. That's so far down the line, it's hard to really point at this point. But, yes, you're right, she does emphatically rule it out right now. And yet -- it's hard to find a Democrat besides Hillary Clinton who also rules it out.

LEMON: Yes. But I want to make -- also want to make the point, 65 years old, in this day, you know, this day and age is not old. You know, and we've had older men run for president, it's not to say that Hillary Clinton couldn't do it, by her own words she has said -- she has said that.

But I want to get back to that because no matter what your age, in your 20s, in your 30s, in your 40s, in your 50s, as much travel and as many hours as Hillary Clinton puts in, that is grueling on anyone. Let's just be honest.

YELLIN: Absolutely. And, you know, I go back also to this point that a lot of people were sort of dismissive of the notion that she couldn't testify because she simply had a concussion. And it was interesting to me, of all organizations, the NFL, the National Football League, interestingly, put out a statement in support of - of her, in essence saying, if there's any organization that knows how damaging a concussion can be, it's the NFL. And as a society we shouldn't make light of this.

One of the reasons is because, you know when you have to testify, it's not just sitting there in front of the congressional committee and giving testimony that's challenging, but prepping for it and reading and doing what they call, so-called murder boards where people yell at you and challenge you as if you're preparing, which is jarring and aggravating to the brain and concussions are, you know, you have to rest the brain.

Also, absolutely, you know, Elise can speak to what her travel schedule is like. Elise has been on those trips with her, our State Department correspondent that's still with us, but it is, it's exhausting. And the conditions are terrible, and, you know, you also have to go and stay up all night and eat whatever is served to you and be polite and good mannered at all times and never, you know, let them see you sweat, so to speak.

It's very hard, and she does it, you know, with grace. No matter what -- whether you like her politics or not. She holds it together and must be exhausted.

LEMON: OK. Jess, stand by. Elise Labott, stand by as well. I'm going to talk to both of you, but we're going to continue our breaking news coverage here.

Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, in the hospital being treated for a blood clot. We're following two breaking news stories. There's new information on the fiscal cliff, as well. There's still negotiations going on in Washington. We'll have updates on both these stories right after the break.


LEMON: I'm Don Lemon at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. We're following two big breaking news stories today, both of them out of Washington, or at least it has Washington involved. First up, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the hospital at this hour being treated for a blood clot. Doctors say they were treating her and looking at her after she fell from -- and had a concussion and they found a clot and she's being treated with anticoagulants right now. Will be in the hospital being monitored for the next 48 hours.

Also we're keeping a close eye on the fiscal cliff in Washington where negotiations are under way now with just less than 30 hours away before we head over that fiscal cliff.

Before we get back to the Clinton story, I want to check in now with CNN's Lisa Desjardins, she's standing by, watching all the negotiations going on.

Where are we? Are we any closer to any sort of resolution, Lisa?

LISA DESJARDINS, CNN RADIO CAPITAL HILL CORRESPONDENT: I hate to say it, but, Don, we don't know. Let me give you a summary, of where we are in just three points to make it clear. Because I know we have that other breaking news about Secretary Clinton.

All right. Point number one, negotiations right now are back to the point where it's between, essentially, two men. Direct talks right now are between Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. Joe Biden, of course, is known for his contacts in the Senate. He's also sometimes called the Senate whisperer, the man who's known for getting things through the Senate when no one else can. Those are the two men primarily in contact tonight trying to forge a deal.

OK. I said three points. Here's point number two, there was one battle today that Democrats won, it was over something called the chained CPI. It's basically a different way of calculating cost of living. The Republicans wanted to use it in this deal, Democrats did not. Democrats stared down Republicans and in the end, Republican senators said we won't bring that up right now.

So that happened today. And then point three, Don, what's next? I'm afraid we won't know until tomorrow morning. That's when we think the earliest could be for us to get details on how these talks between Senator McConnell and Vice President Biden are going.

So there you go, three points on where we are tonight -- Don.

LEMON: Lisa Desjardins, thank you very much. We'll get back to you.


LEMON: If you get anything new, let us know.

I want to bring in now Dr. Keith Black, he is the chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. He's going to give us more information on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

It -- right now when you say that these anticoagulants, it would appear to us that it would be much -- a much better prognosis or diagnosis now, that it's not in her brain if she's being treated with that and it's perhaps somewhere else in the body and it's a DVT, which is a deep vein thrombosis.

BLACK: That is correct. I mean, it's a much less serious situation, blood clot in the leg than you have clot in the brain. These are not uncommon. Mostly always resolved, particularly if they are treated early and appropriately. The treatment is anticoagulation to prevent the clot from expanding, to allow the clot time to resolve and heal, and to prevent the clot from causing more damage by breaking off and causing a clot within the lung.

LEMON: And, again, I do want to say we don't know exactly where it is, and because of the type of medication they are using to treat her, you are assuming, and this is the type -- and this what you would do if you were diagnosing someone or treating someone, you would do the same sort of thing if it was a DVT, right?

BLACK: Right. That is correct. And again, you know, we're working with limited information, (INAUDIBLE), but one can, I think, assume that if they are treating her with anticoagulation therapy, that her brain scans, MRI scans, must not show any evidence of bleeding, because if they did, that would be an contraindication to putting one on a blood thinner.

LEMON: Doctor, stand by. And I just want to update our viewers, and then we'll get back to you.

The reason we're on live now, we're in taped programming, but the breaking news is that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hospitalized being treated for a blood clot. Not exactly sure where that clot is. Again, limited information, they weren't specific about it, but we know back on December 15th that she sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated. And she fainted, she had a stomach virus, and then she fell and suffered a concussion and now she went back for a checkup and doctors discovered that she had a blood clot.

This is the latest information from a spokesperson that says that she was admitted to New York hospital, New York Presbyterian Hospital, after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. Her spokesman says her doctors discovered the clot during follow-up exam on Sunday and that she's being treated with anticoagulants. She was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital so doctors can monitor her condition over the next 48 hours. They're going to continue to assess her condition including other issues associated with her concussion.

What happens next, Doctor? Do they just monitor her for the next 48 hours? If all is well, do they wean her off the medication and then she goes home? What -- what usually happens here?

BLACK: Well, you know, again, you know, we're speculating, but depending on the type of blood thinner that they put her on, one type would require you to make sure that the amount of anti-blood clotting activity you have within the blood is within, you know, the therapeutic range. Normally that would take a fair amount of time to achieve and patient will stay in the hospital, you know, until you can verify with blood tests that that level has been achieved.

Typically, the patient will stay on that medication for a period of weeks until it's clear that the clot has resolved and healed, and then they would come off the medication.

LEMON: Dr. Keith Black is the chairman of the Neurosurgery Department at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. He's helping us through the breaking news here.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the hospital tonight with a blood clot. Breaking news right after this break.


LEMON: Welcome back to CNN. Breaking news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the hospital tonight being treated -- at New York hospital, being treated for a blood clot.

The secretary sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting back on December 15th. She had a stomach virus, she became dehydrated, fainted, and then suffered a concussion.

Here is the latest, the latest, from her spokesperson. If we can put that up on screen. Her spokesperson, who is Phillipe Reines, says, "In the course of a follow-up exam today, Secretary Clinton's doctors discovered a blood clot had formed stemming from the concussion she sustained several weeks ago. She's being treated with anticoagulant and and is at New York Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours. Her doctors will continue to assess her condition including other issues associated with her concussion. They will determine if any other -- any further action is required."

I want to go to CNN's Elise Labott now -- Elise, you've worked at the State Department, you've worked in Washington, you've traveled with the Secretary of State. I was talking to our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin about her grueling schedule. Her doctors had told her to stop her travel schedule until she got better, and now this. And now you can see why because things like this, they can become more serious if you continue to try to push through these situations.

LABOTT: And, Don, Secretary Clinton is someone who is always pushing through. This is a woman who keeps a grueling schedule in Washington and on the road. I mean, we travel with her, we can barely keep up with her, the journalists and her staff, there is always another meeting, there is always another group.

This isn't someone that'll just have a dinner and a meeting with a foreign leader. She's always reaching out, going to civil society groups, having town halls. I've woken up in a recent trip to the Middle East, I woke up in Tunisia, flew to Nigeria, and then flew to Morocco all in one day.

So she's had a grueling schedule for the past four years and when you have a bad illness such as a horrible stomach virus and then suffering a concussion, it's really, obviously, taken its toll on her.

She did a recent interview with Barbara Walters in which she said, and there was a lot of speculation about whether she would run, and she said, I am really tired. I am really tired. And I think that everyone knows that, you know, until the -- until the day that she finishes office until the day her -- John Kerry, who's been tapped by President Obama, will come into the office, she will -- she wanted to work until the very last day, but obviously, this has all taken, you know, as Jessica said, a real cumulative effect.

You know, when you're -- when you're that age and you have a serious injury and all individual illnesses, it's really taken its toll -- Don.

LEMON: Yes. And -- and also traveling with her, you said would -- you know, she's relentless and she is one of those people from -- you know, her husband and her, I've seen them at events, every hand they shake, they're the -- usually the first people to enter the room and the last people to leave. And she is committed as Secretary of State and the president has said as such -- as much just recently over the past couple of weeks.

LABOTT: That's right. There's always another hand to shake, there's -- you know, even the person that will serve the tea or the waiter, I mean, she's always talking. And you know, when you talk about having a brain injury and that her doctors have said, don't work, don't have any strenuous activity, this is someone who's always thinking.

She always remembers a name, she always remembers a face, how she knew that person, a story back from her days as first lady when she first met them. This is someone who's always got an idea, who's always trying to push it forward. Who -- and my understanding in the last few weeks is she was covering that -- recovering one of the things that, you know, was a problem was that her doctors and her friends and family were trying to get her not to work because she -- even though she wasn't feeling good, she was very anxious to get back to work, as we've been talking about.

She was, you know, itching, I think, to testify on the Benghazi issue, because if there is any way that she would want to run in -- 2016 for president, she wants to put this behind her. There have been a lot of speculation as we've been discussing about whether she was faking her illness, whether she was dodging the testimony, no, my understanding is she was really looking to have her word heard on the issue.

She took full responsibility for the Benghazi issue in an interview with me and CNN several months ago, and I think she was really looking to put herself on the record, so this is a real setback for her, but -- but I'm sure that we haven't heard the last of Hillary Clinton on the Benghazi issue.

LEMON: Yes, absolutely. Elise, thank you very much. Thank you, I appreciate that.

I just hung up viewers with our Dr. Sanjay Gupta. And he is calling in and Dr. Gupta will give us more information on this in just a little bit on the other side of the break.

Also on the other side of the break, we're going to talk about the fiscal cliff. Negotiations still going on.

Two breaking news stories here tonight on CNN and we're following both of them.


LEMON: Following two breaking news stories here on CNN. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the hospital being treated for a blood clot. We're getting new information on what's going on with her. New York hospital, New York Presbyterian to be specific. She went in after suffering a concussion when she became dizzy and fell after she had a stomach virus and her doctors were doing a follow-up on her and discovered a clot and they are treating her now with anticoagulants.

As soon as we get more information on that and also our Dr. Sanjay Gupta is standing by, he's going to talk to us about that in a minute.

Negotiations for the fiscal cliff still going on in Washington. We have less than 30 hours before we head over the fiscal cliff. Tax hikes will kick in and other measures that won't be good for your paychecks and for your wallet.

We'll continue to follow that. We have our staff and our reporters and correspondents, producers up on Capitol Hill following the very latest.

In the meantime, let's get back to the Hillary Clinton story. Our chief White House correspondent, of course, is Jessica Yellin who has traveled a lot with the former first lady and Secretary of State.

Jess, we talked about her grueling schedule again. We're working with very limited information. We know that she's being treated and that -- and what she's being treated with. We don't know exactly where this clot is.

YELLIN: We don't. I do get the sense from people who are close to her that they feel that she's going to be OK. But, of course, there's a lot of, you know, upset and concern because it's been some two weeks now that this woman who is constantly on the go has had such a bad case of, first, the flu and then a concussion and now this that she's had to be completely grounded. I mean that's what just stuns the people around her.

Usually she's the one telling them to come on, keep going, she's always up and on the go, and the fact that she actually is ill in this -- this seriously sick is just completely confounding and unusual to them.


YELLIN: So, you know, this is a woman who's traveled almost a million miles, some 400 different -- I think it's different -- 400 countries, I think, and she is just nonstop. And she is somebody the president described as tireless and extraordinary. He even, you know, didn't want to -- he said didn't want to announce John Kerry as the new Secretary of State while she was not available to be there when he was doing it.

And she's exceptionally energetic, but this is an awkward experience also because it's coming at this time right after, you know, if we look at it through the political prism, the attack in Libya, the death of these Americans, she was expected to testify on Capitol Hill and answer questions from members of Congress about why there wasn't more diplomatic security and it's happened, her illness happened right when she was supposed to testify and there were a lot of critics who said well, this was just a, quote, convenient concussion and she was essentially accusing her of faking it just so she couldn't testify.

And it simply wasn't the case and, you know, now we really know it wasn't the case.

LEMON: It wasn't the case. Yes.

YELLIN: And I think Sanjay will be able to speak to this quite, you know, clearly, but part of the reason, as I said before, she couldn't testify is not just the stress of going up and answering questions --

LEMON: And Jess --

YELLIN: But the murder boards you have to do, the preparation you have to do, which is a strain on the brain. And now we know that she suffered even worse consequences from falling and hitting her head -- Don.

LEMON: And Jess, I -- yes, I want to bring in Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's on the phone now.

Doctor, I want to read this -- just clearly so our viewers will know.

Here's the latest from Phillipe Reines -- Reines, it says, "In the course of a follow-up exam today, Secretary Clinton's doctors discovered a blood clot had formed stemming from -- the concussion she sustained several weeks ago. She's being treated with anticoagulants and is at New York Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours. Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion. They will determine if any further action is required."

This is your bailiwick, hearing that, what do you say?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Couple of things, obviously, jump out right away, Don. First of all, this sounds like this is a follow-up exam as opposed to her going in for something specific. And that's important, it sounds like she was -- you know, I know that she was at home, we reported on this at the time that she had her concussion, and that that the doctors were comfortable with her being at home.

So she goes in for a follow-up exam. They discover a blood clot is all that they say and then they -- they're treating her with anticoagulant medication and -- that requires her to be in the hospital for 48 hours.

Most likely this is a blood clot that's, you know, located in her legs known as a deep venous thrombosis, not something that's directly related to the concussion. I think it was a little bit confusing the way that the secretary's office sort of put out that statement, but you typically -- anticoagulants, blood thinners, as they are, are typically used to try and address a deep venous thrombosis as opposed to a blood clot in the brain.

And I think that that just needs to be something that's clarified and I hope we're going to hear more from the secretary's office specifically on that issue. But as Jessica said, I mean -- you know, it's a -- you know, a concussion is a brain injury, Don. People call it a concussion, I think, and that sometimes minimizes what it is.

It's a type of brain injury that requires someone be at brain rest and it requires that they oftentimes, you know, not do much, be sitting around sort of, you know, not as active. And that could put someone at greater risk of a deep venous thrombosis, as well. But again details still coming in, Don. That's sort of how I'm putting it together right now.

LEMON: Sanjay, sorry, someone was talking to me and I didn't hear the end of what you said, but, again -- one would think that if it is, as you said, it's DVT, which can be very serious, that is a much better diagnosis than having a clot somewhere in her head or on the brain.

GUPTA: No question about that, and, again, just a simple point of fact, if someone has a blood clot that is formed on the brain in response to a head injury or a concussion in this case, blood thinners are not typically used because that can worsen the bleeding on the brain and it can also prohibit an operation if an operation is necessary.

Again, nobody is saying that, but this is most likely, again, just based on somewhat vague information from the secretary's office, most likely a clot in the leg, which, as you point out, can be a serious event, but you know it's something that can be easily, easily addressed at the hospital where she is.

LEMON: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you very much, Doctor, for calling in and explaining to our viewers exactly what's going on.

Of course, you know, Dr. Gupta is a neurosurgeon and this is exactly the kinds of injuries and -- that he treats.

So, Dr. Gupta, thank you very much. We'll get back to you in the 10:00 p.m. hour, if it is warranted.

I want to tell our viewers that we will continue to update you on this -- the situation with the Secretary of State. Again, we don't know exactly where this clot was found, very limited information, but we're being told that it was a subsequent -- a checkup from her concussion and also because of the stomach flu or stomach virus that she had gotten which caused her to be dizzy and fall and suffer a concussion, and now this blood clot. She's being treated, again, with anticoagulants, which is a blood thinner. And so we'll continue to follow that. New York Presbyterian Hospital. That's where the Secretary of State is.

We're also going to continue to follow the negotiations going on now on Capitol Hill, the fiscal cliff, what it means to your and your wallet. You could wake up tomorrow with a much different income and a much different paycheck because Congress may not have gotten its act together overnight.

We'll continue to follow that for you. If there's any other breaking news, we'll come back and break into taped programming, otherwise I will see you at 10:00 p.m. Eastern with the very latest information.

I'm Don Lemon.