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Is this society blonde the 'Energiser' who's been one of Bill Clinton's secret lovers for 13 years?
Hillary Clinton disregarded various State Department guidelines for avoiding cybersecurity risks, an internal audit found Wednesday, faulting her and past secretaries of state for weak information management.
Despite guidelines to the contrary and never seeking approval, Clinton used mobile devices to conduct official business on her personal email account and private server, a 78-page analysis from the department's inspector general concluded.
She never sought approval from senior information officers, who would have refused the request because of security risks, the audit said. And her most senior aides refused to meet with investigators who were looking into why.
The independent watchdog report said Clinton, as the top official at the State Department, was responsible for printing and saving her official emails – or at least surrendering her work-related correspondence when she left the position in February 2013.
It took 22 months for her to hand over her emails, after she deleted tens of thousands that she and her lawyer deemed 'personal' in nature.
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TROUBLE: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went around established cybersecurity procedures and never sought approval for her private email setup, an inspector general report says
PILING ON: Donald Trump said during a New Mexico rally on Tuesday night that Clinton 'is as crooked as you get, believe me,' referring to the growing classified email scandal swirling around the former secretary of state
'Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,' the report declared.
'At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.'
The inspector general, who serves as the State Department's independent internal watchdog, wrote that a senior Clinton aide was warned in 2010 that existing systems might not be capable of preserving documents as federal law requires.
But the aide dismissed those concerns and suggested that they were legally sufficient.
The IG, however, could find no evidence that lawyers had reviewed Clinton's document-retention procedures to make sure the law was followed.
Clinton, along with her top deputies Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin, all refused to meet with investigators from the Inspector General office, the report's authors complained.
They also cited 'longstanding, systemic weaknesses' related to the agency's communications.
These started before Clinton's appointment as secretary of state, but her failures were singled out as more serious.
'By Secretary Clinton's tenure, the department's guidance was considerably more detailed and more sophisticated,' it concluded.
'Secretary Clinton's cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives.'
UH OH: The Inspector General report found that Clinton's three top aides stonewalled investigators and refused to meet with them for interviews
The review was prompted by the revelations of Clinton's email use, which has affected her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Nevertheless, the review also encompassed the email and information practices of the last five secretaries.
The report said the department and its secretaries were 'slow to recognize and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks associated with electronic data communications, particularly as those risks pertain to its most senior leadership.'
Clinton has been dogged by questions about her email practices for more than a year, since reports surfaced that her unsecure clintonemail.com server sat in the basement of her Chappaqua, New York home while she served as the nation's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013.
Separately from the State Department audit, FBI agents have been probing whether Clinton's use of a private email server imperiled government secrets.
Clinton has acknowledged in the campaign that her homebrew email setup was a mistake, but said she never sent or received anything marked classified at the time.
Donald Trump attacked Clinton Tuesday night during a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, claiming her email scandal should have prevented her from running for the White House.
'She is as crooked as you get, believe me,' he said.
Clinton's campaign said Wednesday that 'while political opponents of Hillary Clinton are sure to misrepresent this report for their own partisan purposes, in reality, the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other Secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email.'
'The report shows that problems with the State Department's electronic recordkeeping systems were longstanding and that there was no precedent of someone in her position having a State Department email account until after the arrival of her successor.
'Contrary to the false theories advanced for some time now, the report notes that her use of personal email was known to officials within the Department during her tenure, and that there is no evidence of any successful breach of the Secretary's server. We agree that steps ought to be taken to ensure the government can better maintain official records, and if she were still at the State Department,'
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement that '[l]ong-standing weaknesses with the preservation of federal email records clearly exist within the Office of the Secretary of State.'
'Over time, those weaknesses may have been exploited by Department officials for self-serving purposes.'
Mother-of-three Julie McMahon, who lives just minutes from the Clintons, is suspected of being the 'Energizer'; and her friendship with with Clinton has been the subject of media speculation for years
She always arrives in an SUV, sometimes staying for a few hours, sometimes as long as a week — just so long as the lady of the house is away.
And, thanks to the fact that the house in question — the palatial residence of Bill and Hillary Clinton — is protected by a squad of U.S. Secret Servicemen who are in on the deception, the attractive, busty blonde can time her arrivals and departures to within minutes of those of Mrs Clinton.
The bodyguards claim they don’t know her identity, but say they are under orders neither to stop nor approach her, but to let her in. She does, however, have a codename. Every member of a family protected by the Secret Service, responsible for guarding presidents and ex-presidents, is given a codename starting with the same letter.
Given that Bill Clinton is ‘Eagle’ and Mrs Clinton is ‘Evergreen’, the special visitor was dubbed ‘Energiser’ in a rare moment of levity by the men in the mirror sunglasses.
It’s a tribute, apparently, to the fact that she’s been such a regular visitor over the years, she’s now part of the family, and also a tongue-in-cheek reference to the drumming pink bunny in the Energizer battery adverts that just keeps going.
The claim that the 67-year-old former president has a ‘blonde, buxom mistress’ who frequently visits the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, a wealthy suburb near New York, was made earlier this week when details were leaked of a forthcoming book — The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal The Hidden Lives Of Presidents.
Its author, Ronald Kessler, is known to have impeccable contacts with Secret Servicemen.
Described as ‘charming and friendly’, Energiser will even bring the bodyguards biscuits — a small price for their silence, but a nice thought, particularly as protecting the rude and ‘nasty’ Mrs Clinton is seen as a punishment posting.
Energiser’s appeal doesn’t end with her personality. A Secret Serviceman told Kessler how his dull vigil was enlivened one day by a glimpse of her impressive décolletage as she leaned over — possibly bearing biscuits — wearing a low-cut top.
Her ‘exposed’ breasts were ‘very perky and very full and new’. The trained observer had no doubt they were ‘enhanced’.
So who could the Energiser be? One candidate, I discovered this week, is attractive divorcee, rich socialite and mother-of-three Julie McMahon, who lives just five miles from the Clintons.
Her friendship with Clinton has been the subject of sporadic, if little-noticed, media speculation for years.
The daughter of Joel Tauber, a multi-millionaire backer of the Democratic party and friend of the Clintons, she reportedly met the former president in 1998 when he was still in office, after her father let him use the family’s $25 million Colorado mansion.
They were said to have instantly hit it off, but it was claimed their relationship became intimate shortly after the Clintons left the White House and moved to her neighbourhood in 2001.
Miss McMahon had by then divorced her husband, John McMahon, a director of Goldman Sachs, from whom she had been separated for three years. It was alleged she and a ‘lonely’ Clinton would sneak to each other’s houses, sometimes at night.
They would even meet abroad, it was said, with Miss McMahon conveniently turning up in London or Paris at the same time as Clinton. Miss McMahon, 54, publicly denied they were having an affair in 2008, but her name resurfaced two years later in Game Change, an account of the 2008 presidential election.
The book named her among a long list of women, including a ‘dishy’ Canadian MP and the Hollywood actress Gina Gershon, whose rumoured friendships with Clinton were alarming Democrat grandees.
According to Game Change’s authors, investigations by Mrs Clinton’s aides discovered that the rumours about one particular woman were true and ‘that Bill was indeed having an affair — and not a frivolous one-night stand, but a sustained, romantic relationship’.
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Because the U.S Secret Service guard Bill and Hillary Clinton's home, the 'Energizer' is said to be able to time her arrivals and departures within minutes of those of Mrs Clinton
It was claimed Miss McMahon had ended their affair in 2008, after Clinton refused to leave his wife for her. But this week, another new book, Clinton Inc, related how Clinton had wanted to bring ‘his latest mistress — a woman named Julie’ — on the 2008 presidential campaign trail for his wife.
Aides reportedly persuaded him it was a bad idea. The couple’s relationship, Clinton aides told the book’s author, journalist Daniel Halper, ‘had been going on for a number of years by 2008 and, according to sources, was still referred to by an aide in the present tense as late as 2013’.
Could this be the same ‘Julie’? Miss McMahon did not respond to approaches and the Clinton camp has not responded to the Energiser story.
However, renewed focus on Clinton’s private life comes at an awkward moment, just as his wife is gearing up, as many expect, to announce her second run for presidency. According to Daniel Halper, Clinton is a man who ‘thrives on recklessness’ in his private life and might even want to ‘sabotage’ his wife’s presidential bid.
Loyal Clinton aides told Halper the ex-president is concerned his ‘legacy’ will be wiped away if his wife becomes America’s first woman president, leaving the public to remember him only as the man who was famously serviced in the Oval Office by a 22-year-old intern, Monica Lewinsky.
There is another reason he doesn’t want to return to the White House, Halper told me this week. Clinton aides say he will feel trapped. ‘Michelle Obama can’t do anything, she can’t go anywhere, even for brunch, without it being reported,’ says Halper.
‘He wouldn’t have the freedom to live the life he’s living, and this is a man who, I was told, spends about 320 nights a year on the road.’
Halper says that when he confronted a close friend of the former president, and rattled off a list of names of women, including several celebrities, with whom Clinton has been linked, the friend replied: ‘Everybody you think he ****ed, he did — and the more dangerous, more scandalous and more famous she is, the better.’ All great men had a flaw, the friend added, and Clinton’s is that he is addicted to sex. Quite by coincidence, it emerged this week that Mrs Clinton believes the same.
Clinton is said to be addicted to sex because of abuse he suffered from his mother, a journalist has claimed Mrs Clinton once told her
According to Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Lucinda Franks, Mrs Clinton told her in 1999 that her husband was addicted to sex because he was abused ‘in ways you wouldn’t believe’ by his mother, Virginia Kelley. Mrs Clinton wouldn’t elaborate; Franks never revealed the extraordinary remarks at the time, but has included them in her forthcoming memoirs.
This may all come as a shock to those who assumed that, scorched to the bone as he was by the Lewinsky scandal, Clinton would have learnt his lesson and spent the intervening years living the life of a monk during his frequent separations from his wife.
Like Miss McMahon, the women who have reportedly captured Clinton’s wandering eye in recent years are a far more moneyed bunch than previous liaisons such as Lewinsky and model Gennifer Flowers. It’s a reflection of the rarefied circles in which the international statesman and philanthropist now moves.
Belinda Stronach, a glamorous Canadian heiress 20 years his junior, has long been regarded as one of his romantic entanglements.
The blonde — they’re almost always blonde — met Clinton in 2001 at a charity benefit in Toronto.
Her father, Frank, is a billionaire Austrian-Canadian who founded a car-parts empire. It was Clinton, nicknamed Bubba, who encouraged Miss Stronach’s brief but eventful political career — a Canadian MP between 2004 and 2008, she famously saved the Liberal government by ‘crossing the floor’ from the Conservative Party.
Swiftly dubbed ‘Bubba’s Blonde’, the ambitious, twice-married business- woman was spotted alongside Clinton with eye-popping regularity at horse races, golf matches, political meetings and even on the ski slopes at the Colorado millionaires’ haven of Aspen.
Monica Lewinsky had a brief fling with Clinton in the Oval Office when she was a 22-year-old intern
They always insisted they were just good friends. But in 2003, when Miss Stronach said she was divorcing her second husband, Norwegian Olympic champion speed skater Johann Olav Koss, the whisper was that Clinton was the cause of the break-up.
As Canada’s National Post put it, the news ‘set off a wildfire of rumours in Toronto society [and] they all start and end with one word: Bubba’.
When, in 2005, the pair dined at a New York restaurant with friends including Jack Nicholson (but not Hillary Clinton), a witness claimed to see Miss Stronach feeding Clinton off her plate.
Even the staid New York Times reported that prominent New York Democrats had been alarmed by a newspaper photograph of the pair leaving the restaurant together.
Another attractive Canadian woman once romantically linked to Clinton is Lisa Belzberg, ex-wife of fabulously wealthy Matthew Bronfman, heir to the Seagram drinks empire.
According to reports, Clinton was heard boasting to a friend at a Super Bowl party he threw that the busty but brainy Miss Belzberg ‘married a guy worth $6 billion, but she still likes to flirt with me’.
A month after the party, it was announced that she and her husband were separating, for which some reportedly blamed Clinton. His friends, it was said, were stunned to see Clinton posing in Miss Belzberg’s kitchen on the front cover of Newsweek magazine for an article about him. Was this, some asked, another example of his recklessness?
‘Everybody you think he ****ed, he did — and the more dangerous, more scandalous and more famous she is, the better.’- author Daniel Halper
Clinton, such a canny political operator in other ways, hasn’t helped his personal reputation by befriending dubious, jetset, millionaire playboys with a penchant for young women.
He has gallivanted around the world with business partner Ron Burkle, a California supermarket magnet whose custom-converted Boeing 757 was referred to by his aides as Air F*** One.
More damagingly, he was a friend of Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier friend of Prince Andrew who was jailed for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution.
Another rich friend is Steve Bing, the businessman who fathered a child by Liz Hurley. She, too, has been on some people’s list of Bubba’s conquests.
Earlier this year, the actress took to Twitter to dismiss ‘ludicrously silly’ reports that she had an affair with him, allegedly sharing a bed at the White House while Mrs Clinton slept nearby.
Actor Tom Sizemore, who made the allegation, later retracted what he said, saying it had been drug-induced ramblings.
Eleanor Mondale, late daughter of former vice-president Walter Mondale, and Barbra Streisand have long been rumoured to be Clinton conquests.
Actress Gina Gershon, for her part, was horrified to be linked to him, insisting she had met him only three times and saying rumours they were lovers ‘disturbed me on so many levels’.
Much of the gossip-mongering seems to have come from disconsolate Clinton insiders, appalled by his letting the side down.
In an excoriating article in Vanity Fair by Todd Purdum, the husband of Clinton’s former press secretary, the former president was described as consumed by a ‘cavernous narcissism’.
Purdum claimed a former Clinton aide decided to stage an ‘intervention’ with his boss after Democrat supporters kept complaining that Clinton was ‘seeing a lot of women on the road’.
The article also recounted a priceless anecdote in which Monica Lewinsky was stopped at the White House gate and told the president was out jogging with Eleanor Mondale. It wasn’t true, Clinton later told her, adding: ‘Do you think I would be stupid enough to go running with someone I was foolin’ with?’
It isn’t just celebrities and heiresses who attract Clinton’s attentions. Game Change revealed how, within days of moving to their home in Chappaqua in 2001, Clinton could be found at the local upmarket deli, ‘chatting up the stay-at-home mothers who trundled in after yoga, startling his aides that he already knew all the women by name’.
In the same year, a willowy, 19-year-old Swedish girl gave him a tulip in Oslo during a speaking tour. Clinton pulled her to him in an embrace, telling her: ‘You’re too beautiful to only get a hug.’
People close to Mr and Mrs Clinton say they have led largely separate lives ever since he left office as president. It was estimated in 2006 that they saw each other on average 14 days a month (playing Scrabble and gardening when they were together).
And that was before Mrs Clinton became even busier as Secretary of State and now as putative presidential contender.
Some Democrats have dismissed gossip about Clinton’s love life as a cynical attempt to embarrass his wife now she is set to stand again.
But the Monica Lewinsky scandal was the making of her career, turning around her unpopularity in the polls as voters felt sympathy towards the wronged woman.
Could it happen again, or will Clinton do his best to avoid the shackles of a return to the White House? As ever with the Machiavellian first family of U.S. politics, nothing is impossible.