Edward-Isaac Dovere, a senior White House reporter, writes a scathing rebuke of a recently released "tell all" book about the Clintons called: "Crisis of Character" — written by former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne.
Dovere's article is at Politico and is dated June 21, 2016 and is titled: "Secret Service veterans denounce anti-Clinton tell-all book". One passage in the article reads:
People familiar with West Wing security laugh at the idea that Byrne or any uniformed officer ever would have walked in on Bill Clinton anywhere, whether in a meeting or, as a New York Post article over the weekend claims, in the middle of a make-out session in the Map Room with the late daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale. The Secret Service presidential detail would have stopped him. (That affair was a well-worn rumor during the Clinton years, though strongly denied by Eleanor Mondale, who died of brain cancer in 2011.)
Below is the specific text regarding the incident of Eleanor Mondale from President Clinton's Aug. 17 grand jury testimony before Office of the Independent Counsel prosecutors investigating the president's relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. What's interesting is, not only does it appear the former Secret Service officer (Gary Byrne) was telling the truth in his new book; but also that Bill Clinton was pissed off because Monica Lewinsky had suspected Bill was messing around with another woman and it was a Secret Service officer ("uniformed division") who had told her that it was Eleanor Mondale (which Bill had never denied) -- and Bill was pissed off that a Secret Service officer had told Lewinsky (who had made a scene). It was later reported that Bill wanted the officer fired for spilling the beans on him (He didn't think it was "proper", even though what he was doing wasn't proper). The text below is followed by a video in Bill's own words.
QUESTION: The witness list came out on December 5th of 1997 with Monica Lewinsky's name on it. Mr. President, when did you find out that Monica's name was on that witness list?
CLINTON: I believe that I found out late in the afternoon on the 6th. That's what I believe. I've tried to remember with great precision, and because I thought you would ask me about this day, I tried to remember the logical question, which is whether I knew it on the 6th, and if so, at what time. I don't -- I had a meeting in the late afternoon on the 5th -- on the 6th. Excuse me, on the 6th. And I believe that's when I learned about it.
QUESTION: Now, on the morning of the 6th, Monica Lewinsky came to the northwest gate and found out that you were being visited by Eleanor Mondale at the time and had an extremely angry reaction. You know that, sir, don't you?
CLINTON: I have -- I have -- I know that Monica Lewinsky came to the gate on the 6th, and apparently directly called in and wanted to see me and couldn't, and was angry about it.
CLINTON: I know that.
QUESTION: And she expressed that anger to Betty Currie over the telephone, isn't that correct, sir?
CLINTON: That -- Betty told me that.
QUESTION: And she then later expressed her anger to you in one of her telephone conversations with Betty Currie, is that correct?
CLINTON: You mean, did I talk to her on the phone?
QUESTION: Monica Lewinsky that day, before she came in to visit in the White House.
CLINTON: Mr. Wisenberg, I remember that she came in to visit that day. I remember that she was upset. I don't recall whether I talked to her on the phone before she came in to visit, but I may well have. I'm not denying that I did. I just don't recall that.
QUESTION: And Mrs. Currie and yourself were very irate that Ms. Lewinsky had overheard that you were in the Oval Office with a visitor on that day -- isn't that correct, that you and Mrs. Currie were very irate about that?
CLINTON: Well, I don't remember all that. What I remember is that she was very -- Monica was very upset. She got upset from time to time. And -- and I was, you know -- I couldn't see her. I had --I was doing, as I remember -- I had some other work to do that morning, and she had just sort of showed up and wanted to be let in and wanted to come in at a certain time. And she wanted everything to be that way. And we couldn't see her. Now, I did arrange to see her later that day. And I was upset about her conduct. I'm not sure I knew or focused on, at that moment, exactly the question you asked. I remember I was -- I thought her conduct was inappropriate that day.
QUESTION: I want to go back, and I want to take them one at a time. No. 1, did you find out at some point during that day that Monica had overheard from somebody in the Secret Service that you were meeting with Ms. Mondale and that Monica got very irate about that?
CLINTON: I knew that at some point. I don't know whether I found out that, that day. I knew that they -- I knew that somehow she knew that among -- that -- that Eleanor Mondale was in to see us that day. I knew that. I don't know that I knew how she knew that on that day. I don't remember that.
QUESTION: Pardon me. That leads into my second question, which is, weren't you irate at the Secret Service precisely because they had revealed this information to Ms. Lewinsky on that very day -- so irate that you told several people -- or at least one person -- that somebody should be fired over this, on that very day?
CLINTON: I don't remember whether it happened on that very day. But let me tell you that the uniformed Secret Service -- if that is in fact what happened, and I -- we'll stipulate that that is. But no one should be telling anybody, not anybody -- not a member of my staff --who the president is meeting with. That's an inappropriate thing to do. So I would think that if that in fact is what I heard when I heard it, I would have thought that was a bad thing. I don't know that I said that. I don't remember what I said, and I don't remember to whom I said it.
QUESTION: It would be an inappropriate thing, sir. And that leads into my next question, is that why did Mrs. Currie, on your instructions, later that day tell many of the Secret Service officers involved that it never happened, to forget about it?
CLINTON: That what never happened?
QUESTION: The incident that you were so irate about earlier. The incident of somebody disclosing to Mrs. -- to Ms. Lewinsky that Ms. Mondale was in the Oval Office with you.
CLINTON: I don't know the answer to that. I think maybe -- you know -- I don't know. I know that...
QUESTION: You don't recall that you later gave orders to the effect that we're going to pretend this never happened...
CLINTON: No, sir.
QUESTION: ... or something like that?
CLINTON: No, sir. I don't recall that. First of all, I don't recall that I gave orders to fire anybody, if that was the implication of your first statement.
QUESTION: It wasn't an implication. Actually, the question was that you initially wanted somebody fired. You were so mad that you wanted somebody fired.
CLINTON: I don't remember that, first of all. I remember thinking it was an inappropriate thing to do. And I remember -- as I usually do when I'm mad, I -- after a while, I wasn't so mad about it. And I'm quite aware that Ms. Lewinsky has a way of getting information out of people when she's either charming or determined. And it -- I could have just said, well, I'm not so mad about it anymore. But I don't remember the whole sequence of events you're talking to me about now, except I do remember that somehow Monica found out Eleanor Mondale was there. And I learned either that day or later that one of the uniformed division personnel had told her. I thought then it was a mistake; I think now it was a mistake. I'm not sure it's a mistake someone should be terminated over. I think that, you know, you could just tell them not to do that anymore.
QUESTION: In fact, it would kind of be an overreaction to get irate or terminate somebody for revealing to a former White House staffer who visits where the president is, don't you think, sir?
CLINTON: Well, it would depend upon the facts. I think, on the whole, people in the uniformed Secret Service who are working on the gate have no business telling anybody anything about the president's schedule, just as a general principle. I didn't mind anybody knowing that she was there, if that's what you're saying. I could care less about that. But I think that the schedule itself -- these uniform people --you know, somebody shouldn't just be able to come up on the street, and because they know who the Secret Service agent is, he says who the president's with. I don't think that's proper.
QUESTION: I agree, Mr. President.
CLINTON: But, on the other hand, I didn't -- you know, I wanted to know what happened. I think we found out what happened. And then they were, I think, told not to let it happen again, and I think that's the way it should have been handled. I think it was handled in the appropriate way.
QUESTION: And you have no knowledge of the fact that Secret Service officers were told later in the day something to the effect of "This never happened; this event never happened; you have no knowledge of that"?
CLINTON: Sir, I'm not sure anybody ever told that to me. I mean, I thought you were asking -- let me just say my interpretation of this, of your previous question, was different than what you're asking now. What I remember was being upset that this matter would be discussed by anybody. It's incidental it happened to be Monica Lewinsky. And that whatever I said, I don't recall, but then thinking that the appropriate thing to do was to say, look, this is not an appropriate thing for you to be talking about, the president's schedule, and it shouldn't happen again. Now the question you seem to be asking me now -- I just want to be sure I'm getting the right question -- is whether I gave instructions in effect to pretend that Monica Lewinsky was never at the gate.
QUESTION: To the effect of...
CLINTON: And if that is the question you're asking me, I don't believe I ever did that, sir. I certainly have no memory of doing that.
QUESTION: Or anything to that effect?
CLINTON: I don't know what that means.
QUESTION: Is that your testimony?
CLINTON: What does that mean, "anything to that effect"?
QUESTION: Well, Mr. President, you've told us that you were not going to try to help the Jones' attorneys, and I think it's clear from your testimony that you were pretty literal at times. So, that's why I'm saying I don't necessarily know the exact words. The question was, do you have any knowledge of the fact...
CLINTON: No, but I...
QUESTION: ... of the fact that later in the day, on Saturday, the 6th of December 1997, Secret Service people were then -- were told something to this effect. "This event never happened. Let's just pretend this event did not happen." Do you have knowledge of it or not?
CLINTON: No, sir. And I didn't instruct the Secret Service in that regard. I have memory of saying anything to anybody in the Secret Service that would have triggered that kind of instruction.
QUESTION: Did you tell Captain Purdy (ph), while you were standing in the doorway between the Oval Office and Betty Currie's office, did you tell Captain Purdy (ph) of the uniform division, "I hope I can count on your discretion in this matter," at the end of the day when you all were talking about that earlier incident? Did you tell him that or anything like that, sir?
CLINTON: I don't remember anything I said to him in that regard. I have no recollection of that whatever.
QUESTION: We'll take a break now.
KENDALL: Thank you. 3:38.
* Full video testimony (4 hours 15 minutes) at C-SPAN: http://www.c-span.org/video/?111990-1/presidential-grand-jury-testimony
* The following transcripts were provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Full text to entire testimony: http://www.anusha.com/clintonv.htm
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