There is a new addition to the thriving literary genre of breathless Clinton family takedowns, and it’s a bestseller before it’s even been released.
Gary Byrne is a former uniformed lower-ranking secret-service officer who was assigned to Bill Clinton’s White House.
He now claims he “stood guard, pistol at my hip, outside the Oval Office, the last barrier before anyone saw Bill Clinton,” but that he, Gary Byrne, saw a whole lot.
There are a lot of good reasons to doubt Byrne, as we’ll detail soon, but that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from already beginning to use the details of the book in his attacks against Clinton.
It’s also certain that the allegations – mostly picked up by tabloids and places with web addresses like “inquisitr.com” – will end up in Trump’s meandering rally speeches. Let’s get into them right now.
Monica Lewinsky was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Bill’s philandering, Byrne claims
OK, admittedly this may be the easiest allegation to accept. Your average American already kind of assumes Bill’s appetite is boundless and Lewinsky was no isolated incident.
But Byrne makes lurid new claims.
One is that Bill maintained a “jogging list” containing the “names of attractive women he saw while out exercising.” The list allegedly consisted of women who showed up at the southeast gate of the White House dressed as though they were about to go out on the town or in exercise gear.
They would apparently tag along at a safe distance when Bill went jogging, Byrne implies. “The agents…would get the women’s names, and run them to see who they were. If the women wouldn’t cooperate, they would be ushered out of the jogging group.” The agents present “insinuated that this list was used by President Clinton to try to meet these women,” Byrne claims.
Additionally, Byrne claims that lipstick-and-semen-stained towels from Clinton’s affairs had to be dealt with on numerous occasions to protect the president.
As for Lewinsky, Byrne claims she wasn’t the only one in Bill’s life at the time of their torrid affair, and it drove her made with jealousy.
Byrne claims Clinton was carrying on an affair with Eleanor Mondale, a now-deceased TV journalist and the daughter of former vice president Walter Mondale. When Lewinsky showed up at the gate to see Clinton one day, Byrne writes, she was told to wait, which led her to angrily ask the officer on duty for a reason. “He’s with his other piece of ass,” Byrne claims the officer said. “Wait till he’s finished.”
Byrne claims to have seen Mondale and Bill making out in the White House’s map room.
White House staff used cocaine, Byrne claims
Byrne claims that White House staff dealt with stress and long hours by abusing cocaine.
“Some people would come in to work in the morning, and they were barely walking. They would drop stuff off at the office, and go to the restroom where they would come out minutes later happy as a clown,” he wrote.
Clinton was verbally and physically abusive, even giving Bill a black eye, Byrne claims
Byrne spends considerable time making Hillary sound needlessly profane and explosive.
“The First Lady had a different sort of liveliness,” Byrne writes in an excerpt published by Breitbart News. “She once threw a Bible at an agent on her detail, hitting him in the back of the head. He bluntly let her know it wasn’t acceptable. He told me that story himself.”
Another time, Byrne claims, she told an agent to “Go f— yourself” and another to “Go to hell!” according to Breitbart.
Here’s the text: “One day, UD [Uniformed Division] officers met to review events at their respective posts. A bewildered new officer arrived. ‘Hey you’ll never believe it, but I passed the First lady and she told me to go to hell!’ A second young officer responded, ‘You think that’s bad? I passed her on the West Colonnade, and all I said was ‘Good morning, First Lady.’ She told me, ‘Go f— yourself.’ ‘Are you serious?’ ‘Go f— yourself!’ He imitated her, pointing a finger.”
Of all the claims, that one somehow feels particularly over the top. You mean she just tells subordinates to “f- off” for no reason, as a morning greeting? I imagine even Stalin still at least said some equivalent of “Good day” to the people around him.
But it goes on. Byrne also claims that one time he heard loud voices of Bill and Hillary from the White House residence, where he later found a glass vase smashed on the floor. The next day, Byrne claims, Bill had a “put a steak on it” black eye, and his secretary claimed he had an allergy to coffee.
Should any of this be believed?
Clinton’s defenders argue this is just the latest in a string of “tell-all” books that make wild claims in attempts to make money at their expense and hurt them politically.
Media Matters, among others has tried to debunk some of the claims and get in a pretty solid dig on Trump’s grammar.
They point out that Byrne has contradicted himself in sworn testimony from around the time of Bill’s impeachment. For the stained towel, for instance, he told prosecutors he had “no idea” to whom the lipstick belonged, even saying later that he didn’t know “if there was actually lipstick” on the towels.
Ken Starr, who prosecuted the case, also said Byrne’s testimony “varied in different tellings,” according to Media Matters, and Byrne himself acknowledged relying on “gossip” and memories that occurred “two and a half years ago.”
He’s also gone to great lengths to praise the Bush family, referring to the elder as “Papa Bush,” betraying political allegiances. And, as some outlets have reported, Secret Service officials themselves have said there’s no way Byrne could have witnessed even a fraction of the things he claims, because a “uniformed” officer is actually quite a low rank without intimate access.
But even if you were to believe some of the Bill accusations, the larger question remains: how is that an indictment of Hillary?