Hillary Clinton was so abusive to her security detail that the State Department could not find senior agents willing to staff the once-prestigious position to protect the Secretary of State, according to a former State employee who served in that detail.
The individual’s remarks came to light Monday in a release of FBI documents relating to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecured, homebrew email server to conduct all of her business as Secretary of State — in contradiction of federal records keeping laws. The interviewee, whose name is redacted on the document, “served as an Assistant Shift Leader on former Secretary of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE’s and HILLARY CLINTON’s protective details.”
This woman said Clinton treated the agents protecting her and her staff’s lives with “contempt.” The document states: “[Redacted] explained that CLINTON’s treatment of DS agents on her protective detail was so contemptuous that many of them sought reassignment or employment elsewhere.
“Prior to CLINTON’s tenure, being an agent on the Secretary of State’s protective detail was seen as an honor and privilege reserved for senior agents. However, by the end of CLINTON’s tenure, it was staffed largely with new agents because it was difficult to find senior agents willing to work for her.
“[Redacted] claims to have had at least one conversation with Secret Service agents who experienced the same poor treatment.”
The individual giving this interview also claimed Clinton would put her staff in dangerous situations against the advice of her security — and agents suspected that she did so to generate “favorable press” and photo ops that she could use for a presidential campaign.
On a trip to Jakarta, Indonesia, in early 2009, CLINTON requested to visit an area of Jakarta that presented security and safety challenges. This visit was reportedly for a photo opportunity regarding CLINTON’s “clean cooking stoves” initiative. The DS advance team recommended against traveling to this area because the route could not be secured and was lined with dangerous circumstances and individuals. As such, the DS advance team recommended in writing that this excursion be stricken from the schedule but were told by DS management that it was going to happen because “she wanted it.” DS agents felt this excursion into potentially hostile areas placed CLINTON, her staff, the media, and her security detail in unnecessary danger in order to conduct a photo opportunity for “her election campaign.” DS agents had the perception that CLINTON was using her position as Secretary of State to campaign for President of the United States. DS agents felt CLINTON traveled with hand-picked media who would present her in favorable light in order to garner political support. It was also believed that CLINTON disregarded security and diplomatic protocols, occasionally without regard for the safety of her staff and protection detail, in order to gain favorable press. [emphasis added]
The interviewee recalled an anecdote where Clinton exposed her limousine driver to danger by badgering him to open a window in “a dangerous area of the West Bank”:
CLINTON traveled in an armored vehicle whose passenger windows do not open. This is a design feature for the protection of the occupants. However, the driver’s window does open slightly. On one occasion while traveling to Palestine CLINTON ordered the limousine driver, believed to be [Redacted] to open the window while in “occupied territory”, referring to a dangerous area of the West Bank. [Redacted] initially declined to respond to CLINTON’s request; however, repeated demands by CLINTON forced him to open his window despite the danger to himself and the occupants.
This testimony echoes the accounts of several Secret Service agents who have similarly described Clinton’s behavior as abusive.
Author Ronald Kessler, who has written several books based on interviews with USSS agents, has one interviewee who gives the exact same assessment as the former State employee:
There’s not an agent in the service who wants to be in Hillary’s detail. If agents get the nod to go to her detail, that’s considered a form of punishment among the agents. She’s hard to work around, she’s known to snap at agents and yell at agents and dress them down to their faces, and they just have to be humble and say, “Yes ma’am,” and walk away. Agents don’t deserve that. They’re there to do a job, they’re there to protect her, they’ll lay their life down for hers, and there’s absolutely no respect for that. And that’s why agents do not want to go to her detail.
Former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne released a book, Crisis of Character, earlier this year alleging that she would have regular “eruptions” over small slights or even polite greetings. “She’d explode in my face without reservation or decorum,” Byrne said of his first-hand experiences. One colleague reported that Clinton responded to him saying, “Good morning, First Lady,” with a “Go f*** yourself.” Another told Byrne that she threw a Bible and hit him in the back of the head in an episode of rage.