Sunday 21 January 2018

Tell-all book claims Hillary Clinton 'threw a Bible at Secret Service agent's head'

Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (left) with husband Bill at a campaign rally in New Hampshire
Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (left) with husband Bill at a campaign rally in New Hampshire

Ruth Sherlock

Hillary Clinton threw a Bible at a Secret Service agent's head, it has been claimed.

It is the latest in a string of alleged incidents recounted by Gary Byrne, a former member of the Secret Service who protected the Clintons during their eight years in the White House in the 1990s.

'Crises of Character', which is due to be published next week, just as Ms Clinton prepares to be nominated as the Democratic presidential choice, is a scathing portrayal of the Clintons as self-serving human beings who treated their security detail as part of the "furniture".

Mr Byrne also describes an environment in which secret agents and White House staff knew about Bill Clinton's "many" affairs and were forced to help cover them up.

He says being assigned to protect Ms Clinton "was a form of punishment handed down by passive-aggressive middle management."

Ms Clinton is known for being poised, even too stiff in public, with campaign aides working to help her appear more relaxed before a crowd. But Mr Byrne describes the former First Lady as being prone to all-consuming bouts of rage behind closed doors.

"The First Lady had a different sort of liveliness," he writes. "She once threw a Bible at an agent on her detail, hitting him in the back of the head.

"Most of us knew to brace for her inevitable eruptions. They didn't happen every day, but behind closed doors we learned about them fast. In public, she was everyone's best friend. Privately, she was her normal self."

Ms Clinton repeatedly swore at Secret Service agents: "She'd explode in my face without reservation or decorum."

Reporters have not been able to independently confirm the allegations made by Mr Byrne, and some of them are controversial.

The book has been denounced by several current and former Secret Service members, who say Mr Byrne has inflated his role at the White House and that he would in reality not have been able to get close enough to the president to see the things he claimed.

This week, the president of the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service, a non-partisan group that rarely comments in public, is set to issue a statement as a "self-moralising" narrative. The organisation said it has made security more difficult because it erodes the trust between agents and the people they are supposed to protect.

Ms Clinton's campaign has not yet issued a response.

Mr Byrne claims he was assigned to guard the Oval Office for three years during Mr Clinton's presidency. He was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

In this detailed account, he describes the flirtations between Mr Clinton and Ms Lewinsky as obvious for the staff to see. "Monica hung around us batting her eyes until she overheard the president's position or direction of travel, then bolted to manoeuvre into his path," he writes. "She lived for even his passing glance."

In a bid to stop the two meeting, Mr Byrne said, he had Ms Lewinsky, who was working as an intern in the White House, transferred to work for Ms Clinton. But then, he said, Mr Clinton brought her back to his wing of the White House as a paid member of staff, and even provided a secret number for her to dial to reach him directly in the Oval Office.

Rumour "President Clinton paid for a White House mistress with taxpayer funds and jeopardised national security with her compromising and corruptible presence in a secure area, all for little more than on-demand oral sex," he writes.

The book also tries to confirm a long-time rumour that Mr Clinton, whom Mr Byrne describes as a "horn dog", also carried on an affair with Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of Walter Mondale, the former vice president. Mr Byrne says he once caught the pair in a "compromising position". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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