Claim: A former Secret Service agent gives his unvarnished opinion of the Clinton, Gore, and Bush families.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2005]
Secret Service Comments
We had a neighbor when I lived in DC who was part of the secret service presidential detail for many years. His stories of Kennedy and Johnson were the same as those I heard from the guys who flew the presidents' plane —
[yes, Kennedy did have Marilyn Monroe flown in for secret "dates," and LBJ was a typical Texas "good ol boy" womanizer. Nixon, Bush 41, and Carter never cheated on their wives. Clinton cheated, but couldn't match Kennedy or LBJ in style or variety.]
The information below is accurate. Former Pres. Bush Sr. and the current president Bush make it a point to thank and take care of the aircrews who fly them around [When the president flies, there are several planes that also go — one carries the armored limo, another the security detail, plus usually a press aircraft] and both Bush's made it a point to stay home on holidays, so these Air Force and security people could have a day with their families.
(WHAT WAS, WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN, AND WHAT IS)
Hillary Clinton was arrogant and vocally abusive to her security detail. She forbade her daughter, Chelsea, from exchanging pleasantries with them. Sometimes Chelsea, miffed at her mother's obvious conceit and mean spiritedness ignored her demands and exchanged pleasantries regardless, but never in her mother's presence. Chelsea really was a nice, kindhearted, and lovely young lady. The consensus opinion was that Chelsea loved her Mom but did not like her.
Hillary Clinton was continuously rude and abrasive to those who were charged to protect her life. Her security detail dutifully did their job, as professionals should, but they all "loathed" her and wanted to be on a different detail. She was hard to work for because she was so nasty and mean toward her detail. Hillary Clinton was uniformly despised by the Secret Service as a whole.
Former President Bill Clinton was much more amiable than his wife Hillary. Often the Secret Service would cringe at the verbal attack antics that Hillary would use against her husband, the then President. They were embarrassed for his sake by the manner and frequency in which she verbally insulted him, sometimes in the presence of the Secret Service, and sometimes behind closed doors. Even behind closed doors Hillary Clinton would scream and yell so loudly that everyone could hear what she was saying.
Many felt sorry for President Clinton and most people wondered why he tolerated it instead of just divorcing his "attack dog" wife. It was crystal clear that the Clintons neither liked nor respected each other and it was through long before the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Theirs was genuinely a "marriage of convenience."
Chelsea was much closer to her father than her mother, even after the Lewinsky scandal which hurt her gravely. Bill Clinton did in fact have "charisma," and occasionally would smile at or shake hands with his security detail. Still, he always displayed an obvious air of superiority towards them. His security detail uniformly believed him to be disingenuous, false, and that he did nothing without a motive that in some way would enhance his image and political career. They did respect him, unlike his wife, but they did not particularly like him and nobody trusted him. He was polite, but not kind.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN:
Al Gore was the male version of Hillary Clinton. They were more friendly toward each other than either of them were towards former President Clinton. They were not intimate, so please don't read that in . They were very close in a political way. Tipper Gore was generally nice and pleasant. She initially liked Hillary but soon after the election she had her "pegged" and no longer liked her or associated with her except for events that were politically obligatory.
Al Gore was far more left wing and very hateful, not just politically opposed, to Republicans than Clinton. Al Gore resented Bill Clinton and thought he was too "centrist." He despised all Republicans. His hatred was bitter and this was long before he announced for the Presidency. This bitter hatred was something that he and Hillary had very much in common. They often said as much, even in the presence of their security detail. Neither of them trusted Bill Clinton and, the Secret Service opined, neither of them even liked Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton did have some good qualities where Al Gore and Hillary had none in the view of their security details.
Al Gore, like Hillary, was very rude and arrogant toward his security detail. He was extremely unappreciative and would not hesitate to scold them in the presence of their peers for minor details over which they had no control. Al Gore also looked down on them in disgust as they finally observed and learned with certainty on one occasion when Al Gore got angry at his offspring and loudly, in their presence, pointed at his security detail and said, "Do you want to grow up and be like them?!?"
Word of this insulting and demeaning verbiage by the former Vice-president quickly spread and he became as despised and disliked by the Secret Service as Hillary. Most of them prayed that Al Gore would not be elected President and they really did have private small celebrations in a few of their homes after President Bush won. This was not necessarily to celebrate President Bush's election, but to celebrate Al Gore's defeat. He was much
Everyone in the Secret Service wants to be on First Lady Laura Bush's detail. Without exception, they uniformly concede that she is perhaps the most nice kind, and genuinely good person they have ever had the privilege of serving. Where Hillary patently refused to allow her picture to be taken with her security detail, Laura Bush doesn't even have to be asked, she offers.
She doesn't just shake their hand and say, "Thank you." Very often, she will give members of her detail a kindhearted hug to express her appreciation. There is nothing false about her. This is her genuine nature. Laura Bush really is this kind of a person and her security detail considers her to be a "breath of fresh air." They actually love her as a human being. They joke that comparing Laura Bush with Hillary Clinton is like comparing "Mother Teresa" with the "Wicked Witch of the North."
Likewise, the Secret Service considers President Bush to be a gem of a man to work for. He always treats them with genuine respect and he always trusts and listens to their expert advice. They really like the Crawford, Texas detail. Every time the president goes to Crawford he has a
They believe that he actually loves his security detail and that he is deeply and genuinely appreciative of their service. They could not like, love, or respect anyone more ore than President Bush, and most of them did not know they would feel this way until they had an opportunity to work for him and learn that his manner was genuine and consistent. It has never changed in the time that he has been President. He always treats them with the utmost respect, kindness, and compassion.
Please pass this on. It is important for everyday Americans to have a true inside understanding of their President.
Origins: Proving (or disproving) the genuineness of an anonymous second-hand report of information supposedly provided by an equally anonymous Secret Service agent is a formidable task, but several factors tend to indicate this piece is more likely something created for partisan political reasons than an actual Secret Service agent's account:
- Philip H. Melanson's history of the Secret Service makes no mention of protective agents experiencing the problems ascribed to either Bill or Hillary Clinton. The only such issue discussed therein was that President Clinton's penchant for spontaneity and interacting with the public often made the job difficult for his Secret Service detail:
Clinton needed the crowds — and drove his Secret Service bodyguards crazy.
On the campaign trail, he would order one unscheduled stop after another. He would walk every inch of long rope lines, determined to shake each and every hand stretched out to him. The spontaneity proved nervewracking and never ended once he was elected.
Clinton always resisted the idea that he had to live in the Secret Service bubble. His friend, Arkansas State Police Captain Buddy Young, who was Clinton's security chief for a decade in his home state, said, "I don't think he likes all this Secret Service business. It's just such a circus."
Until the Lewinsky scandal isolated Clinton from the public appearances he relished, his agents came to realize that they had to be ready for him veering into crowds, restaurants, and other public places anytime, anywhere. His security was always a fluid proposition for his detail.
- As Melanson also noted, Secret Service agents would have considered it a serious breach of professionalism for one of their number to have publicly disclosed this sort of personal information about their charges:
The Service's unwritten code of silence dictates that agents keep their observations to themselves. Today, many agents still do not want to accept that anyone among the Clintons' protective details broke the long-understood rule: "There's no way we would have talked about it. There's an agency culture, an unwritten code. That was a pretty tough time for us [because people accused us of breaking the code]."
- As Time magazine noted as far back as 1993, cranking out spurious stories that discredited Hillary Clinton and were attributed to anonymous Secret Service agents was a known political trick:
A Republican consultant told a network newscaster that his job was to make sure Hillary Clinton is discredited before the 1996 campaign. Each day anti-Hillary talking points go out to talk-show hosts. The rumor machine is cranking out bogus stories about her face (lifted), her sex life (either nonexistent or all too active) and her marriage (a sham). Many of the stories are attributed to the Secret Service in an attempt to give the tales credibility.