Images have emerged following Monday night’s 2016 presidential debate between Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump that are fueling widespread speculation online that Clinton may have been wired for the event.
And some say she may have been wearing a battery pack, an earpiece, a microphone and a wire.
Charisma News cited a Reuters image that it said appeared to reveal a flesh-colored earpiece in her left ear.
The report cited earlier claims Clinton wore a listening device during a presidential forum about a month ago.
“During the Commander-in-Chief forum held in New York City on Sept. 7, closeup photos of Hillary Clinton’s left ear showed she had some sort of earpiece in it, promoting concerns she was receiving on-the-fly coaching from her campaign while taking questions,” it said.
“Now a Reuters photo of Clinton [from Monday night] shows she may have had the same type of device in her ear again … during the first presidential debate with Donald Trump. Was she getting instructions from her campaign team while she was engaged in the debate?”
“What does she have in her ear? There are three possibilities: A hearing aid – loss of hearing or dulled hearing is not uncommon for people of Clinton’s age, particularly for those who have suffered a traumatic head injury, like a concussion. Many different companies market hearing aids that are meant to be concealed.”
The second possibility, some say, is an “inductive earpiece.”
“Stage actors often use these to help with cues and missed lines during performances. They are meant to be concealed, and with Bluetooth technology, those speaking to Clinton through it wouldn’t even have to be in the same city.”
FEC hasn’t ruled out ear mics?
On Sept. 25, the day before the big debate, the World Tribune noted that the FEC hasn’t specifically ruled out the use of ear mics for presidential candidates, even though moderators cannot wear them.
A Maryland voter reportedly wrote a Sept. 8 letter to FEC Commissioner Matthew Petersen requesting a “clear response” to the issue.
“I read reports that during the televised event questioning each of the candidates on their qualifications to serve as Commander in Chief, that Secretary Clinton had a microphone in her ear to receive prompting and guidance from advisers off stage,” wrote Laurence B. of Columbia, Maryland, according to the World Tribune.
“Surely this is a more serious violation of competition than the doping which the Olympics have had to clean up. … Can you please confirm that your commission will take conclusive steps to ensure that no such cheating takes place during the debates?” Laurence B. asked.
The man wrote again on Sept. 21 after the FEC failed to respond: “I’ve got to say I’m really discouraged not to have received a confirmation from you or from your office that your policy will be to disallow the two candidates to wear ear microphones. Am I to interpret your lack of a response to mean that such behavior will, indeed be accepted?”
An FEC attorney wrote Laurence B. to tell him his “complaint” must be “in writing, sworn to and signed in the presence of a notary public and notarized.”
Laurence B. clarified that he wasn’t seeking to file a complaint. He was merely asking for a “clear statement of rules.”
The FEC never responded to his request, according to the report.
More speculation: ‘Anti-seizure device’
Charisma News also speculated that Clinton could have been wearing “an anti-seizure device.”
“Sound can trigger certain forms of seizures. A German-engineered device called the Epitect fits inside the ear and can detect and warn of an impending seizure, but more closely resembles a more traditional hearing aid with a component that hangs behind the ear.”
“None of these paint a particularly good picture for the Democratic presidential nominee,” the report said. “Either she has an as-yet undisclosed health condition, ranging from mild to severe, or she’s been cheating …”
And a wire?
Further, at the Political Insider blog, there was an image of Clinton leaning over, a motion that revealed what many on social media say resembles a typical wireless microphone battery pack on her lower back. Those types of packs also can power in-ear systems.
“This wouldn’t be the first time Hillary had to use a device for help,” the blog reported. “What do you think? Is [it] just a trick of light and shadows? A zipper? Or was Hillary actually hiding a ‘Cough prevention machine’ in her pantsuit?”
Such claims are not new against Clinton.
It was reported earlier in September that actor James Woods actually drew attention to the issue after the presidential forum, asking “Earpiece?” with an image of a flesh-colored device in Clinton’s ear.
The report said Woods also posted a Clinton email from the Wikileaks archive in which Huma Abedin asked Hillary, “Did u take your earpiece or do I need to get it?”
Infowars suggested that the box “is connected to a wireless lapel mic and that both candidates were wearing them, which is the likeliest explanation, although the podiums were also fitted with microphones.”
An NBC screenshot shows both Trump and Clinton wearing lapel microphones:
“Twitter users even speculated that the device was an instrument that sends impulses to the brain to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” the report said.
An ABC image provided a close-up image of her ear:
Web goes wild with speculation
At a Catholic.org site, there were some questions.
“The initial reaction is that it is a microphone. But there are objections to this idea. The pack is a bit larger than usual, but this is not an impossible thing. Some microphones have large battery packs,” the blog post said, “The next concern is that a tube appears to run from the box up to the base of her neck. Why the tube and why the base of the neck? Aren’t microphone cables quite thin these days, if not entirely wireless? Or are we merely seeing a fold in the back of her coat?”
It continued, “Finally, the microphone appears on her chest, not at her collar. Why run a wire over your shoulder? Something does not add up.
“And now, a picture has emerged that seems to show her wearing a nearly invisible earpiece. Is the earpiece real, or a trick of light? What is the earpiece for? Is it so a team can feed her answers? Is it an anti-seizure device? A hearing aid?
“Clinton could be entirely innocent. But there’s a bigger problem here, the fact that we are asking these questions at all. The fact they’re getting play in the press,” it said. “This speaks to Clinton’s integrity. After decades of public service, the one thing Americans have learned about Hillary Clinton is that she lacks integrity. She has been caught in lies, caught hiding the truth, and even caught lying under oath.
“It would be good to know why such a device is visible on Clinton’s back and not Trump. What is the device? Is it a backup microphone? Then fine. All’s well that ends well.
“But can we as a nation afford to elect a candidate whose honesty, ethics and integrity are in constant question? Far from being an asset to the country, such a leader would be a detriment, even if the perception were false. And if the perception is accurate, she would be doubly dangerous.”