Newsmax's Ronald Kessler appeared on the Aug. 9 edition of Fox & Friends with a wild claim from his new book "The Secrets of the FBI" he hasn't yet peddled at Newsmax: that Hillary Clinton drove Vincent Foster to suicide:
KESSLER: Vince Foster, the deputy White House counsel under Clinton, he was depressed. He did commit suicide. But what the FBI found that never came out before is that a week before his suicide, Hillary Clinton had a big meeting in the White House with him and other aides about her health care legislation, and she violently disagreed with the legal objection he raised, and she totally humiliated in front of all of these White House aides. "You are small town -- you are a small town hick lawyer. You'll never make it in the big time." And after that, his demeanor changed. His -- he became very withdrawn. He would break into tears. And a week later, he committed suicide. The FBI concluded that that is what triggered his decision to commit suicide.
Such an attack on Hillary Clinton would seem to conflict with Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy's rapprochement a few years back with Bill Clinton. But Kessler has long been a Clinton-basher with special focus on Hillary, usually hiding behind anonymous sources to hurl his smears and failing to provide any documentation for them.
An April 2006 Newsmax article on Kessler's book on Laura Bush touted how it contains "an extremely unflattering portrait of the Clintons":
The book reveals that the Clintons had treated Secret Service agents and household help with disdain and made few attempts to engage them in friendly conversation.
"Bush and his wife treated you normally, decently," said one former agent. "They had conversations with us."
The Clintons had used the White House to court fund-raisers, putting up political supporters in the Lincoln Bedroom. The Bushes, on the other hand, have given overnight privileges only to dignitaries, family members and longtime friends.
When Hillary gave Laura a tour of the Executive Mansion, Laura – who had previously stayed at the White House when her father-in-law was president – was "quietly dismayed" at the condition of the residence, author Kessler revealed.
The residence décorations appeared gaudy. Carpets and furniture had been allowed to fray and there were exposed electrical conduits in several areas. But the Clintons' real irreverence for the White House came to light after Bill left office, when stories broke that the Clinton staff had "trashed" the mansion before leaving.
Clinton supporters called the report an "urban legend." In response, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer detailed some of the damage in the White House and the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
The final, official report from the Government Accounting Office, released on June 11, 2002, did not confirm all of Fleischer's allegations, but did state that the damage included the loss of 62 computer keyboards, 26 cell phones, two cameras, 10 antique doorknobs and several presidential medallions.
It would be more accurate to say that the GAO report substantiated very few of Fleischer's allegations of vandalism.
A June 2007 article by Kessler recruited Bay Buchanan to attack Hillary, in which Buchanan claimed that "we are all fools for having let her advance to the point where she is running for president." Kessler and Buchanan also repeated a discredited falsehood about Hillary:
Of all of Hillary's prevarications, Buchanan says, none is so clear-cut or shocking as the fact that on national TV, Hillary claimed that when two airplanes hit the World Trade Center, her daughter Chelsea was at Battery Park near the towers, where Chelsea heard and saw the catastrophe unfold.
Hillary's arrogance was so profound that she did not coordinate the story with Chelsea, who wrote an article for Talk in which she described what she had been doing that day. According to Chelsea, she wasn't jogging at the World Trade Center. Rather, she was miles away in a friend's apartment on Park Avenue South. She watched the events unfold on TV.
In fact, as we pointed out at the time, Clinton did not say that Chelsea "was at Battery Park near the towers, where Chelsea heard and saw the catastrophe unfold"; rather, she said that Chelsea "was going to go around the towers."
When Hillary Clinton was running for president, Kessler rehashed anonymous anti-Hillary anecdotes from a earlier book of his for a February 2008 Newsmax column:
Secret Service agents assigned at various points to guarding Hillary during her campaign for the Senate were dismayed to find her two-faced and perpetually angry.
“During the listening tour, she planned ‘impromptu’ visits at diners and local hangouts,” a former Secret Service agent told me for my book “A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush.”
“The events were all staged, and the questions were screened,” the former agent said. “She would stop off at diners. The campaign would tell them three days ahead that they were coming. They would talk to the owner and tell him to invite everyone and bring his friends. Hillary flew into rages when she thought her campaign staff had not corralled enough onlookers beforehand. Hillary had an explosive temper.”
Publicly, Hillary courted law enforcement organizations, but privately she had disdain for police. “She did not want police officers in sight,” a former agent said. “How do you explain that to the police? She did not want Secret Service protection near. She wanted state troopers and local police to wear suits and stay in unmarked cars. If there were an incident, that could pose a big problem. People don’t know police are in the area unless officers wear uniforms and drive police cars. If they are unaware of a police presence, people are more likely to get out of control.”
“She decided they were not compatible with her down-home image. They were used once or twice,” an agent said. “She wanted a conversion van with picture windows and two captain chairs. So we purchased three of them, each outfitted with armor, bulletproof glass, and a system to supply clean air. Each was positioned around New York State to help reduce travel time.”
Like her husband and his White House staff, Hillary and her staff were disorganized and habitually late. “She had children running her campaign,” an agent said. “She had a lack of organization and a lack of maturity. She could not keep a schedule.”
When she stayed at the houses of Democratic supporters, “We would show up at their homes at 2 a.m., and she would sleep in the master bedroom,” he said.
During her “listening tour,” Hillary’s campaign staff planned a visit to a 4-H Club in dairy farm country in upstate New York. As they approached the outdoor event and she saw people dressed in jeans and surrounded by cows, Hillary became livid.
“She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the [expletive] did we come here for? There’s no money here,’” a former Secret Service agent said.
Again, Kessler hides behind anonymity and offers no substantiation for these claims. We assume he has followed the same pattern for his latest attack on Hillary.