Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be returning to work next week, State Department officials said Thursday. Clinton was released from New York Presbyterian hospital Wednesday evening after receiving treatment for a blood clot in a vein between the brain and the skull behind her right ear.
"Some of the senior staff who spoke to her about half an hour ago say that she's sounding terrific, upbeat, raring to go,” State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Thursday. “She's looking forward to getting back to the office. She is very much planning to do so next week, and we'll have further precise details about that as she continues to make progress.”
Clinton dialed into a meeting of the Foreign Policy Advisory board Thursday, Nuland reported. “The secretary closed by wishing the board a Happy New Year, noting she's planning on returning to the office next week," she.
Nuland said that she expects Clinton will be back on the phone with her international counterparts soon–many of whom have sent messages wishing her well.
Nuland did not give new details about Clinton’s condition, but referenced an earlier statement by Clinton’s doctors advising against international travel as she continues to recover. "It sounds as if the doctors' preference is that she not make any international trips for a little while," Nuland said.
Clinton was seen leaving the hospital Wednesday evening with husband Bill and daughter Chelsea. Nuland said that Clinton’s family has been with her as she recovers at home.
Clinton is expected to testify before Congress about last September’s attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi when she recovers, but State Department officials did not have a date to announce. "We are working with the committees on an appropriate set of dates," Nuland said.
She also added the State Department is working with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on setting a date for Sen.John Kerry, D-Mass.,’s confirmation hearing. He has been nominated by President Obama to succeed Clinton as the administration’s chief diplomat. Kerry met with senior staff at the State Department Wednesday and “received a huge file of briefing materials” in preparation for his hearing.
Nuland refuted the idea that Clinton would have to testify on Benghazi before Kerry’s confirmation hearing could begin. "I think we obviously have made a commitment that the Secretary will testify, and we are obviously looking for a date for Senator Kerry's confirmation hearings,” Nuland said. “To my knowledge, there hasn't been any direct link made between the two of them. We are eager for both to happen as soon as appropriate and as soon as the committee is ready.”