Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FACT CHECK; Email on Secret Service Book False, Misleading, for Starters Obamas Are Portrayed Better Than Believed; Carters, Not So Much

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FACT CHECK; Email on Secret Service Book False, Misleading, for Starters Obamas Are Portrayed Better Than Believed; Carters, Not So Much

Article excerpt

Byline: Carole Fader

Times-Union readers want to know:

An email says that a new book about the Secret Service reveals an awful lot about presidents and vice presidents and most of it is not very complimentary of President Barack Obama and other Democrats. Is that true?

The 2009 (updated in 2010) book, "In the President's Secret Service" by ex-Washington Post reporter Ronald Kessler, does offer observations from current and former Secret Service agents. But the email makes it appear that Republicans were held in reverence while Democrats were philanderers, phonies and disrespectful.

A perusal of the book shows it does not do that. It contains sordid stories and acts of kindness about the agents' charges, both Democrats and Republicans.

Some examples:

- Ronald Reagan mailed checks for thousands of dollars to needy strangers.

- Jimmy Carter was known as the least likable. To make the press think he came to work early, Carter would walk into the Oval Office at 5 a.m., then nod off to sleep. One agent said "the Carters were the biggest liars in the world."

- Presidential mother Lillian Carter delivered a six-pack of beer to the Secret Service detail, who were appreciative but were on duty and had to refuse.

- Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary demanded that agents take her friends to restaurants. When her detail leader objected, she had the agent removed.

Now, there are some descriptions in the email that are contained in the book. But the email misleads recipients about what is said about Obama and others.

The email states, among other things:

"Spiro Agnew - a nice decent man, everyone was surprised at his downfall.

"Bill Clinton - Presidency was one giant party. Not trustworthy, he was nice because he wanted everyone to like him ...

"Barack Obama - Clintons all over again - hates the military and looks down on the Secret Service. …

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