Voters feel Clinton fatigue after years of scandals – Former Clinton Secret Service Agent
It’s less than a month to go till the American presidential vote and the Trump vs. Hillary race is heating up. The campaign seems to be focused more on dirty laundry than the issues that matter. With fresh scandals erupting every day, some Republicans are abandoning their nominee and joining Hillary’s camp – fearing that Trump is not fit for the presidency. But is the real Hillary Clinton radically different from the cool and composed persona she’s projecting in public? We ask a man who spent eight years guarding the Clinton family in the White House – former Secret Service agent, author of ‘Crisis of Character’ – Gary Byrne.
Sophie Shevardnadze: Former Secret Service Agent Gary Byrne, who served in the White House during the Clinton Administration, author of “Crisis of Character”, welcome to the show, it’s great to have you with us. Now, 13 percent of Americans, according to the People magazine poll, would rather see a meteorite hitting Earth than vote for either Clinton or Trump - how did it come to both parties failing the American public so badly that some of the country’s citizens prefer Armageddon to them?
Gary Byrne: First of all, thank you for having me, Sophie, it’s a pleasure to be here. I think, basically, what happened for the Republican side is that for years the Republicans have been telling their conservative voters to put them in office, that they needed the House, and then they gave them the House, and then they needed the Senate, and we gave them the Senate, and then they basically let President Obama run his liberal agenda, and I think they feel like they’ve been lied to. I think for people that are Democrats that normally would support Mrs. Clinton, I think they basically have “Clinton fatigue” - 30 years of all these scandals, from when her husband was the President. There was, approximately, 19 scandals, and I talk about that in my book “Crisis of Character”. There were 19 scandals in his 8 years as president. I think people are just burnt out with all these things that have happened, when she was Secretary of State, with the incident in Benghazi, Libya, and then with the email server and not securing of classified emails. I think people are just burnt out.
SS: Polls suggest Hillary Clinton has won the second presidential debate. You don’t think that Hillary is fit to be president - and the reason is her bad character. But it was Donald Trump’s flaring temper that seems to have cost him the debate - is it any wonder Hillary is leading in the polls?
GB: From my perspective, what I experienced in 8 years that I protected them, and the inside information that I’ve seen while I protected them - former President Bill Clinton and Mrs. Clinton, they basically run their campaign by throwing lies and accusations at the other candidate. She’s not really running on her record - because she can’t. She has to rely on that the person she’s running against has flaws, and every human being has flaws. I think this is what you’re seeing, and that’s certainly what I believe I’m seeing.
SS: Emails released by Wikileaks show that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic party helped prop up Trump as the Republican nominee because they thought he’d be the easiest one to beat. But Trump is not that far behind Hillary in the polls - did the Democrats bet on the wrong horse?
GB: I’m not sure. I have heard those things and do see certain scenarios like that. In the very beginning, when Mr. Trump was thinking about running, you heard rumours that the Democrats wanted him to run because they felt that he was so flawed, or Democrats wanted him to run because Republicans didn’t want him in office, because he was not a “standard” or a “normal” Republican, or Conservative. The truth is, one of the reasons why people want to support Mr. Trump is because he gave them a vision. He has given them a vision that fits into how they want America to be run, and that’s one of the reasons he’s doing as well as he is, and I do believe he’s probably doing - in my experience in American politics - he’s probably better than they’re actually talking about.
SS: Clinton’s been accused of skirting transparency laws by using her private email for government matters. The FBI didn’t find ground for criminal charges in the Clinton’s personal email scandal - why do you think they let this go?
GB:What I’ve heard the FBI director say was that if that was anybody else, if it was me when I was still working for the government, I would have been prosecuted and jailed. He basically let her go, and I don’t know what the reason is, but what the FBI director did say, he said that Hillary Clinton lied to the American people five times and that she was either incompetent or stupid. Nobody could have possibly had the experience she supposedly has as First Lady, 8 years as a Senator, and then Secretary of State, and not know how important it is to follow the classified information laws that we have. In the U.S. government, it is unbelievable how detailed it is - when you first start handling this information, there are rules for everything, and the fact that she didn’t know them just leads you to believe the she’s totally incompetent.
SS: I want to play a clip right now - one of the most talked about moments of the second presidential debate. Take a look:
Clinton: “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country”.
Trump:“Because you’d be in jail”.
SS: Well, Trump actually said that if he’s in charge, he’d investigate Clinton and put her in jail. Do you think he’d go for it?
GB: Yes. I think he should, I think that’s what a President is supposed to do. Listen, don’t try to find something that is not there, but based on what we know now, there’s something there. You have to understand this: at one point, it was so crazy when she was Secretary of State, that her employees were running around behind her, crushing cellphones, Blackberries with hammers, because they knew she was putting classified information on it. That has to be looked at. That’s not the way human beings act anywhere, in our government or yours. You just can’t keep destroying devices because your boss is too stupid or lazy to follow the procedures. I detail other similar things like this in my book, “Crisis of Character”, when her husband was President and she was First Lady. People were so afraid to tell her what the truth was, because they knew that she would demand that they would be fired and she’d scream and yell at them.
SS: We’re going to get to your book a bit later, but you said he should go for jailing her - but do you think he will, or is it just a presidential campaign thing that he’s doing to get some points?
GB: No. Listen, he shouldn’t go and jail her. What he should do is investigate her. Have the FBI investigate her like they do with anybody else. Find out what the facts are and then act on those facts.
SS: Alright. A little more about the debate. A lot of Hillary Clinton’s defence against Trump’s attacks was, surprisingly, blaming Russia for everything - for the latest emails released by Wikileaks, for the hacked DNC documents, and she even sort of blames Donald Trump himself on Russia - why does the American presidential election have to be about Russia?
GB: It doesn’t have to be. That’s one of the points that I was trying to point out earlier. Here’s the thing. Mrs. Clinton cannot run on her record - so she has to distract the American people by making them believe fictitiously that Donald Trump has some relationship with Vladimir Putin or Russia, and there’s something wrong with that. Two, it’s the “Russians doing something wrong.” Listen, the first Cold War, I’ll say, anyway, is over - I was a Cold War warrior. It’s been over for a while. I don’t know who hacked those emails, I don’t know if it was somebody in Russia, I don’t know if it was a kid in England in his mother’s basement. But I will tell you this: all that you’re seeing is the Clintons trying to distract you from the truth, which is that she’s completely incompetent and should never President, and that’s one of the ways they’re trying to do it. Everything you see going on now is about distraction and the Clintons are trying to distract you from the fact that Donald Trump has a real plan and they’re trying to do that right up until November 8, the day of the re-election.
SS: Now, on another topic connected to some other Clinton emails that revealed Hillary and Bill may have been doing favors for their Clinton foundation donors while in office. Donors include the likes of rich Gulf monarchies and oil companies… So if Hillary becomes president are we to expect any rich company or state to just buy their way into American politics?
GB: Yeah. I think they already have, to be honest with you. It’s hard not to at least think it looks shady or dirty. They set up this Foundation and then in a couple of years, they’ve got $200 million. A lot of these donors are foreign countries, and some of these foreign countries, the way they treat their citizens is completely the opposite of what American values are, and you wonder why Clintons would take this money from them. Now, they say it’s for “charities”, which I get, but only a small portion, 10% or less goes to these actual charities. Again, it certainly gives you the idea that they’re doing something wrong, and it is something that should be looked at.
SS: Hillary has promised to put her husband Bill in charge of the economy if she gets elected - is this campaign entirely her own even, or is it going to be Bill’s third term as well as Hillary’s first?
GB: That’s a concern for sure, and it is certainly a concern of mine. So here’s my first question when I heard that: if mrs. Clinton brings Bill Clinton back to the White House - what she should go and take to protect young women that work in the White House? We all know what he was accused of, and I know what he did before, with these young women that worked there. As far as it goes with politics, if she’s such a great leader and we’re supposed to trust her - why does she need her husband to run the economy? She’s supposed to be this top-of-the-line leader that everybody swears up and down that she’s the most qualified person. It is just an another example of them trying to distract you. She says that she’s going to bring her husband back because she knows there’s pretty good part of population of people in the U.S., they liked her husband and they like some of the things that he did, supposedly, other than the issues with women. That’s whom she’s trying to bring in, to get herself in the office. Who knows what the truth will be, because anything out of their mouth, in my opinion, in my experience, is a lie.
SS: The mainstream media seem to be obsessed with Donald Trump - but not in a way that favours his candidacy. Both the right and the left leaning media are against him - why are they trying to sink him?
GB: Part of the issue, or the main issue is that he’s not a typical politician. Donald Trump was a businessman for over 30 years and he had an incredible reputation. I live only about 3 hours from NYC, and an hour from Atlantic City where he did part of his construction and building, and I’ve never heard a bad thing about the man or his organisation until he started to run against mrs. Clinton. What they're afraid of… Republicans are afraid of getting somebody in there that won’t keep their normal agenda. This is a guy who’s very popular and the American people are tired of being lied to by politicians, so good portion of our country wants to give Donald Trump a chance. I think when it comes to the Democratic side, of course, he’s the Republican, so no matter what he says, they’re trying to tear him apart. Again, they’ve done a pretty good job of it. I’ve never heard a bad thing about the guy, and I actually worked with people who worked for him years ago, and they never had a bad thing to say about him or his organisation. They actually had very nice things to say. Up until the time he started to run against Hillary Clinton, then all of a sudden he’s this evil person, and it’s just not true.
SS: Trump says he’s going to sue the New York Times - over a report which alleges Trump sexually harassed two women, with one of the stories dating back 30 years. Do you think he has grounds to go ahead with legal action?
GB: I don’t know, Sophie, I don’t know what all the details are, but I did hear the report. I have heard what you’ve just stated. I’m not really sure how he’ll go forward with that.
SS: In response to the sex talk tape - which revealed Trump’s aggressive comments about women - the Republican nominee branded Bill Clinton a predator and staged a media event with women who accused the former president of sexually assaulting them. But it's Hillary who is running for president, what does she have to do with it?
GB: Here’s what she has to do with it, and I detailed it in my book, “Crisis of Character”. All the women, throughout their time together, that have accused Bill of doing something wrong - she has attacked them. She goes forward and she slut-shames these women, she has people go and… it’s been documented, she actually hired security people to go and harass these people and try to scare them from telling their stories about her husband allegedly assaulting them or raping them. So she is somebody who is basically enabling… an enabler. She’s allowed her husband to live like this for years and never let the truth to come out, and that’s why she’s part of the story.
SS: So you’re saying she’s basically covered up for Bill? Instead of being mad and furious?
SS: But did she not care that her husband was cheating on her?
GB: You know what, in my experience, and I talk about this in the book is that I think they made and agreement. Let me put it this way: what I saw when I protected them is not the way my parents acted towards each other, and towards us and it’s not the way we raise our kids, my wife and I - so, they have a different relationship, and it’s almost like a partnership. She has this incredible lust for power, but because she’s such a flawed human being, she has such a hard time connecting with people normally, that she needs somebody like her husband. Understand this: Bill Clinton is charismatic. He’s so smooth-talking. I’ve been in his presence many-many times and seen him introduce himself to people who typically wouldn’t like him for his politics, but after 30 seconds they look like they’re looking at a their favorite actor or actress; they get so enamoured and they’re so happy to be in his presence, where 15 minutes ago they couldn’t stand the sight of him. So, she needs his charm, so they will always be in partnership, and that’s the only way. If she ends up winning the election, it will be because of his charm, not hers, that’s for sure.
SS:What’s the extreme that she has gone to to actually cover up for him? You said she threatened all the women that were involved with him. What was she capable of doing to them, except just threatening them or sending Secret Service to scare them?
GB: No, let me clarify something: she has never, to my knowledge, sent the Secret Service to do anything like that. She has allegedly hired private security people outside of the government. The Secret Service, or no government agency that I know of, has never threatened any of these women, it’s been somebody that she hired. One of her former co-workers, Dick Morris,he tells in elaborate detail about the private security force that she hired, former police officers, to go and harass these women. With one woman, somebody ended up murdering her cat, leaving it on her doorstep - that was Kathleen Willey. There has been many examples of this. I saw similar things in my time, as far as putting soft pressure or soft intimidation of people, including some of my co-workers in the Secret Service. This has been well-documented, this is the way these people work. They do nothing honestly, they do everything like a criminal element. It’s been documented very clearly throughout their history.
SS: But, Gary, people who were working with you, former Secret Service agents, they say that the most contact you had with Bill and Hillary was seeing them in the hallways of the White House - yet you disclose so much personal information about them in your book, how close were you exactly to the Clintons?
GB: So the first thing you need to know about me, my claim to fame, unfortunately, is that I’m the first Secret Service employee to be ever compelled to testify against the sitting President in a criminal case, and that was the Monica Lewinsky case. I was subpoenaed six items, and I eventually I was ordered to testify by the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Chief Rehnquist or go to jail. Everything in my book is true: it’s about my life. Listen, nobody would put themselves forward for this kind of scrutiny that I have, if it wasn’t true. I’ve got subpoenas to prove it. Most of my book is testimony and the few agents that have come out… now, the Secret Service itself has not said a word, but the retired Secret Service Agents Association has come out, and two particular people have slandered me. I’m actually taking these people to court. I’m going to sue them for slandering, defamation of character. We’ve started the process, it’s going to take a while, but the idea that anything in my book isn’t true is completely false itself. I’m a sworn police officer, and I’d like to remind your viewers that I got where I am in the U.S. - you can’t get into the Secret Service without taking a polygraph test, a lie-detector test. Nobody’s ever questioned my integrity, of course, until, I wrote this book, and I knew it was going to come.
SS: So why did you decide to write this book?
GB: I decided to write it… you know, the truth is, Sophie, I was never going to talk about these things outside of a few people and some of my former co-workers that we discussed it from time to time with. But about two years ago, somebody came to me and asked me about writing a book, and I told them they didn’t understand what they were asking, and I wouldn’t do it, but the more I thought about it, I thought - why should I not tell my story? When it happened, people ripped me apart, ripped my agency apart, the Secret Service Uniformed Division, said horrendous things about us. The Clinton campaign and the Clinton machine did. I’m just telling my life story, and this is part of my life, this is how their life crashed into mine, and it’s the truth. I want the American people to know; want however you want, if you’re American citizen, vote however you want. But I want you to know what the truth is: and the truth is that the real Hillary Clinton is incompetent, dishonest and has committed many possible crimes. First of all, the email server, and look at her negligence in Benghazi when the embassy was attacked. All she had to do is pick up the phone and send help. Because she didn’t, a handful of men had to fight for 13 hours to save some of their co-workers with about $100,000 worth of small arms when there was hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. equipment and men and women standing around and waiting to be told to go rescue, and she didn’t do the right thing. That’s why I would never vote for Hillary Clinton, and that’s one of the reasons I wrote my book.
SS: You write that Hillary had no respect for the Secret Service officers or White House staff - but I have here a smiling picture of you with Bill and Hillary. Was she personally abusive towards you as well?
GB: Yeah, in private, right. What you see there at the photograph, that was one from Christmas and actually, administrations don’t invite the the Uniformed Division officers like myself to these parties, the parties for the agents and senior military people, but some of the staff members of Bill Clinton, we had good rapports with each other and they were kind to us. So they invited us and I had that picture taken. Yeah, she was very kind in that picture, she’s smiling because there’s a camera on her. A couple of weeks before, she was standing in front of me, cursing at me and calling an “a-hole” and calling Uniformed Division a-holes because she wasn’t allowed to do something that was against security policy. Once again, here’s a security policy which she doesn’t want anything to do with. She acts like she’s a dictator.
SS: Oh my. So, you’ve got the Clintons with allegations of abusing women and each other on one side, you’ve got Donald Trump who is no stranger to sexist and racist comments and is involved in his own sex scandals on the other --- like Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov described it recently - "There are so many pussies around your presidential campaign on both sides that I don’t even know where to start and what to say.” That’s what he said. Still not sure if it’s a proper thing to say that on air, but he said it so I figure I can do it too. Why is this presidential campaign more about the candidates’ dirty laundry than the issues that matter?
GB: In the case of the Clintons, it’s because she can’t run on her record. What is she going to run on? “Hey, I only got four people killed in Benghazi! That’s great! I could have had a lot more killed!” What is she going to run on? “Oh, well, you know, the reason I berated those women and slut-shamed them, the women that my husband allegedly attacked is because I made a mistake!” But she made that mistake many times, at least four women that we know of, maybe as many as nine or more. She has nothing to run on. For Mr. Trump the reason the scandals come out is because that by bringing out scandals and making up these scandals… Listen, I don’t know if Mr.Trump has ever been involved in sex scandals. I know what the accusations are, but I don’t know if any of it is true. But I do know the ones against Bill Clinton are true and I do know that the accusation of Mrs. Clinton, of what she did, have been documented many times in other books. So, there’s no way I could ever support Mrs. Clinton for the office of President.
SS: Oh well, I gather that much, Gary. Thank you very much for this interview, for this insight. We were talking to Gary Byrne, former Secret Service officer who protected the Clinton family in the White House, author of “Crisis of Character”, talking about his impressions of Hillary Clinton and her chances at winning this U.S. Presidential election. That’s it for this edition of SophieCo, I will see you next time.