Bill Clinton has had a lot of sex. And a lot of it was not with his wife.
His infidelity did not start when he was president. But it happened in the White House too. And his wife Hillary hated it.
Gary Byrne was the Clinton’s lead Secret Service agent in the 1990’s. He was in the center of it all. And what he saw disgusted him.
In 1998 he first refused to answer independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s questions about a rumored affair between Clinton and intern Monica Lewinsky. But after a court ordered him to do so, what Byrne, and other agents, told Starr was shocking.
Byrne called Lewinsky a “stalker” because she was always around the Oval Office. Some agents thought she was a direct threat to the president. There were those rumors about the two having sex in the White House theater. Then there was that White House towel stained with a woman’s lipstick and the president’s ‘bodily fluids’ that Byrne said he had to toss out.
According to the New York Times, “Once when Lewinsky was near the Oval Office, Byrne stopped her and asked her what she was doing. Just then, White House steward Bayani Nelvis emerged from the White House pantry and said that if she wasn’t careful, she would wind up like Paula Jones. According to Byrne, Lewinsky replied that she was ‘smarter than Jones.'”
Byrne was so concerned about what was going on that he complained to White House Deputy Chief of Staff Evelyn Lieberman, who eventually saw to it that Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon.
When the details went public, Bill Clinton angrily denied he had any relationship with Lewinsky. His wife, first lady Hillary Clinton, stood by his side. Eight months passed before Clinton was finally forced to admit that indeed he did have an improper relationship with the intern, although he was still seeking the definition of what “is, is.”
Clinton was impeached by Republicans in the House for lying under oath. He survived a trial in the senate.
Hillary Clinton, who had publicly supported her husband and blamed a “right wing conspiracy” for the allegations, was stunned and furious. She had put up with his affairs their entire marriage. But in the White House? In the Oval Office?
Hillary Clinton moved into another bedroom and considered leaving him altogether.
“What I saw in the 1990s sickened me,” Byrne writes in his new book, Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill and How They Operate. “Hillary Clinton is now poised to become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, but she simply lacks the integrity and temperament to serve in the office.”
Byrnes writes of a dysfunctional relationship between Bill and Hillary. He recalls one fight so bad that Secret Service agents had discussions about the possibility they might have to protect the president from his wife’s physical attacks. The fight had ended with a crash and the president emerged with “a shiner, a real, live, put-a-steak-on-it black eye. I was shocked.”
This Secret Service agent had signed up to protect the President of the United States and his family from outside threats. Instead he was put in the middle of an episode of Dynasty. Byrnes says based on what he saw in the White House, Hillary Clinton is “too erratic, uncontrollable and occasionally violent to lead the nation.”
Fair enough. That is the tough conclusion from a credible law enforcement officer who had a front row seat at the Clinton White House twenty years ago.
But is any of his salacious information new?
No. In fact, former top Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos took us inside the dysfunctional White House in his 1999 book, All Too Human: A Political Education.
“They fought and it wasn’t fun to watch,” wrote Stephanopoulos. “One morning during the New York primary all I saw as I walked in their door was her standing over him at the dining-room table, finger in his face, as he shoveled cereal into his mouth, his head bent close to the bowl. I backed up without turning around and quietly shut the door.”
During one conversation with Hillary Clinton on health care, Stephanopoulos wrote he “tried to stay calm.” Hillary said, “You never believed in us. In New Hampshire you gave up on us.” She paused, her voice fell, and Hillary started to cry. “We were out there alone, and I’m feeling very lonely right now. Nobody is fighting for me. If you don’t believe in us, you should just leave.”
On Monica Lewinsky, and his decision to leave the White House, Stephanopoulos wrote: “I knew in my gut that Clinton was lying. For several years, I had served as his character witness. Now I felt like a dupe.”
So stories, from credible sources, about the Clinton’s often volatile relationship have been told for many years. In fact, there have been plenty of books written about the Clinton White House. Many with the same theme: Moments of love, moments of anger, moments of laughter, moments of tears.
What we haven’t read about yet is about Hillary Clinton after she was elected to public office in 2000. What was her temperament as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State? Did she fight with her staff, or husband, on the taxpayer dime? Did she deal erratically with foreign leaders? Could she get along with members of her own party, and even Republicans?
Her handling of the email situation and Benghazi should be more important to voters than a rehash of fights from the White House twenty years ago.
The irony is that Clinton’s personality and temperament could have been made into a campaign issue had Republicans nominated their typical establishment candidate. But Donald Trump, clearly thin-skinned and quick to act emotionally with his own baggage, will neutralize the issue with independents in key battleground states.
For every rehash about the Clinton’s between now and November by Republicans, expect plenty in return about Trump from Democrats.