“I wanted people to know what the truth is. This Clinton campaign and this mainstream media have this fake image of what Mrs. Clinton is, and it’s not true. Basically, I’m at the point in my life where I just can’t watch it anymore. I want the truth to come out,” said former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily, explaining why he wrote his new book Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience With Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate.
When SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon noted that Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy involves painting her Republican opponent Donald Trump as unstable and emotional, Byrne replied, “What I know about Mrs. Clinton is, she’s describing herself.”
“What I witnessed in those years that I worked there, what I witnessed in the way she berated – not just myself, that was nothing compared to what I saw her do to other people,” he continued. “Her own staff was afraid of her. Think about that. Her own staff was afraid of her.”
Byrne said Hillary Clinton’s behavior grew worse over the course of the five years he worked at the Clinton White House, perhaps due to the pressure the First Lady experienced.
“Everything she tried to do, health care and these other things she worked on, they failed,” he pointed out. “And then, of course, instead of fixing the problem, she turned around and blamed other people.”
“One of the people she blamed was Vince Foster. I’m not saying she’s responsible for his death – I’m not saying that,” he clarified, before discussing the passages in his book where Hillary Clinton berates Foster in a tone “so loud everybody heard it, in the West Wing, from the top floor where the lawyer’s offices are.”
“There was no shortage of people witnessing these episodes. Listen, obviously Mr. Foster was sick, and he had issues, but bringing him to Washington, D.C., was certainly not the smart thing to do,” said Byrne.
During his Breitbart News Daily interview on Tuesday, Byrne mentioned that he was the first Secret Service officer subpoenaed to testify in the Monica Lewinsky affair. On Wednesday, he explained this was because his name appeared so frequently in the Oval Office logbook, making it clear that he and a few other officers held that post routinely.
Byrne recalled that the judge in the case was also interested in securing grand jury testimony from disgruntled former employees of the Clintons, and “in hindsight, I would tell you, I believe a couple of them gave me up too – gave up the officers, that type of thing.”
“They felt that we could put President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky together, alone,” he said, noting that his personal testimony put them together on a number of days, and he was told of even more such encounters by other officers. He was not, however, certain that he was an eyewitness to the day when Bill Clinton’s DNA found its way onto Lewinsky’s famous blue dress.
Lewinsky was one of three women Byrne observed having private encounters with Bill Clinton in the Oval Office. Another was Eleanor Mondale, Walter Mondale’s daughter, who tragically died from a brain tumor in 2011.
“On the ground floor of the White House, right across from the private elevators for the President to go up to his private living quarters, there’s a room called the Map Room, It’s got a lot of historic value,” Byrne explained. “We were standing outside the Map Room, there’s a fixed post there, and I was talking to a buddy of mine. I was coming back from getting something to eat, and I was on my way back to the Oval Office post.”
“The steward walks up, one of the Navy stewards, and he has a clean shirt for the President, which is very common — he changes his shirt a couple of times a day,” he continued. “The steward started into the Map Room, because he knew we were standing there, the agents were standing there. When the steward opened the door, he was looking back at us, because we were kind of talking to him, and as he threw the door open, there was the President with Eleanor Mondale — like high school seniors, lip locked, making out. They never even looked up.”
“It was hilarious, but it didn’t surprise me, after the behavior we’d seen,” Byrne added.
The third woman Byrne linked to Clinton was the West Wing receptionist, an incident that came up during his deposition. “They were discussing lipstick on tissues, and they asked me, did I immediately assume it was Monica Lewinsky’s? And the truth was, I didn’t. I thought it was somebody else’s who worked there, the West Wing receptionist.”
He recalled that during Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, he saw “a picture on a news feed where the President was sitting next to this person on his plane, and he actually kind of felt her up, he put his hand right between her legs.”
“When I first discussed this in my testimony, they looked at me like I was crazy. They didn’t believe me. It took them about three days to find the video, and after that, their whole attitude changed towards me. Which, in hindsight, wasn’t a good thing, but you know, you have to tell the truth. That’s the thing. And that’s what I want people to understand now. This is the truth. This is my life story. It does seem bizarre in some places, but it is what happened,” he declared.
A controversial passage in Byrne’s book describes him destroying some towels with Bill Clinton’s bodily fluids on them. He said he did this in an effort to squash rumors that were circulating among the White House staff.
“At the time, I didn’t know there was an investigation going on. When the subpoenas started flying, I was terrified that I’d be accused of destroying evidence,” he said.
Byrne noted that the Secret Service’s commitment to discretion sometimes required agents and officers to “walk a fine line, and clearly sometimes they go the wrong way, in my opinion.” He thought this code of silence was one of the motivations for some veteran agents who have criticized his book.
Another criticism Byrne addressed in his Breitbart News Daily interview was the assertion that a single officer wouldn’t have been able to witness all of the dubious behavior he reported from the Clintons. He cited two factors to explain why he was on the scene so often: there were a lot of scenes to be on, given Bill Clinton’s libido and Hillary Clinton’s temper, and he was working a great deal of overtime during the Nineties, to supplement his modest salary.
“When I worked there, at that time, my base pay was about $45,000 a year. I worked so much overtime, in those couple of years, each year I made over $80,000 a year. I almost doubled my pay,” he said. “The Secret Service manages the uniform division. They need about 1,500 people. They use about a thousand.”
Bannon wondered if the mounting disgust with the Clintons evidenced through Crisis of Character should have led Byrne to request different duties.
“Speaking for me personally, it comes down to: yeah, a particular day was a tough day, you don’t like what’s going on, but you don’t give up the fight. You keep doing the right thing,” Byrne replied. “You keep showing up at your post, you keep training, and you keep protecting the President.”
He stressed that he “absolutely” would have taken a bullet to protect Bill or Hillary Clinton. “That’s the job,” he said. “You have to separate what the job is from your political beliefs, and the emotion. You can’t make it personal. The few instances where Mrs. Clinton actually berated me a couple of times, I didn’t actually laugh in her face, but I was laughing on the inside.”
Byrne insisted that he doesn’t hold a personal grudge against Mrs. Clinton. “It’s about demeanor, and it’s about the fact that she doesn’t have what it takes to be President of the United States,” he said. “Clearly, she didn’t have what it takes to be First Lady, or Secretary of State.”
He hoped readers would learn from his book that “it’s important to always do the right thing.”
“Character is everything,” Byrne declared – a precise reversal of the mantra Bill Clinton’s defenders chanted in unison, throughout his struggle to remain in office.
He judged his own character “tormented,” saying “it was tough to write this book, because I was going back on a pledge that I took not to ever talk about these things.”
“But clearly, as I’ve stated before, I’m not the first person to talk about them. I’m the first person to come forward and put his face on it,” he added.
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