Secret Service Agents Perspective of U.S. Presidents-Truth! & Fiction! & Unproven!

Secret Service Agents Perspective of U.S. Presidents-Truth! & Fiction! & Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

An insider’s view from the Secret Service agents who were assigned to protect the President and their families.  The rumor reveals things that most people would not know about the character and personalities of Presidents, First Ladies and Vice Presidents who served in office since 1960’s.

The Truth:

This rumor appears to have been generated from excerpts of a book by Ronald Kessler called In The President’s Secret Service, which was published in 2009.  In it, Kessler interviews retired or former Secret Service agents who protected various U.S. Presidents.  Kessler also interviewed White House staff members. Generally, it is a policy of the Secret Service that agents not disclose the private lives of the First Family while they are occupying the Executive Mansion. 

Some of the allegations in this eRumor are accurate, according to Kessler’s book and some are not.  Let’s take a look at each one:

Codenamed Lancer, John Kennedy was a philanderer of the highest order. Jacqueline Kennedy ordered the kitchen help to save all the left-over food and wine for the next White House occasion-Truth! & Fiction!
An agent interviewed in Kessler’s book said that while assigned to guard President Kennedy agents realized that he led a double life.  The charismatic leader was “a cheating, reckless husband whose aides snuck women into the White House to appease his sexual appetite.”   There was no mention of Jackie Kennedy saving leftovers for the next occasion.

Lyndon Johnson (LBJ)  was another philanderer of the highest order. He was also crude as the day is long.  Ladybird Johnson was either naive or pretended to “not know” of her husband’s many liaisons-Truth! & Fiction!
One agent assigned to protect him who was interviewed in Kessler’s book said that Johnson, codenamed Volunteer, was “uncouth, nasty and often drunk.”  The agent said that after being caught by his wife having sex with a secretary in the Oval Office Johnson ordered the Secret Service to install a buzzer to warn him.    The agent said that Mrs. Johnson was well aware of what was going on.

Richard Nixon was a moral man but very paranoid, odd and weird.. He had a horrible relationship with his family, and in a way, he was almost a recluse.  Pat Nixon was quiet most of the timeTruth!
An agent assigned to protect the Nixon’s said that the President, codenamed Searchlight, “seemed to have no relationship with his wife, Pat,” and she “was an alcoholic who tippled martinis.”  When the Nixon’s were in San Clemente, Ca the family went out to play a nine hole golf game and an agent said that during the entire hour and a half game the President did not say one word to his wife and daughters.

Spiro Agnew was a nice, decent man and everyone in the Secret Service was surprised about his downfall-Fiction!
Agents assigned to protect Agnew were interviewed and said that although he came across as a champion of family values the Vice President “was having affairs while in office.”   A detail of Secret Service agents once clandestinely took Agnew to a room on the fourth floor of Washington’s Regis Hotel and left him there unguarded for three hours, at the request of the Vice President.  A former agent said, “Leaving him in an unsecured location was a breach of security.  As agents, it was embarrassing because we were facilitating his adultery.   We felt like pimps.”

Gerald Ford was a true gentlemen who treated the Secret Service with respect and dignity. He had a great sense of humor. Betty Ford drank a lot-
Agents found President Ford, Codenamed Passkey, to be a “decent man who valued their service.”  Although he was portrayed by Saturday Night Live comedian Chevy Chase to be a stumbling, bumbling buffoon, agents say Gerald Ford was quite athletic and enjoyed skiing.  Ford often taunted agents to keep up with him on the slopes.  After failing to keep up with the President the Secret Service recruited a world class skier who would ski backwards in front of the President and “wave as the President tried to catch up with him.” 

Betty Ford did suffer from alcoholism but eventually found sobriety and in 1982 founded the Betty Ford Center, which has aided over 90,000 people with a network of treatment centers for alcohol and chemical dependency.

Jimmy Carter was a complete phony who had disdain for the Secret Service, and was very irresponsible with the “football” nuclear codes- Truth!
Kessler interviewed agents assigned to Jimmy Carter, codenamed Deacon, who described Carter as a “moody and mistrustful” person who distanced himself from the agents who were sworn to protect him and his family.  Agents were instructed not to speak to President Carter unless he spoke to them first.  A former agent said that President Carter “tried to project the image of himself as a man of the people by carrying his own luggage when travelling. When he was running for President, Carter would carry his own bags while the press was in sight but once in private he would ask the Secret Service to carry his luggage.   An agent said that when the Carters were staying at the President’s home in Plains, Georgia, the “nuclear football,” the device that the President uses to launch antiballistic missiles to protect the U.S. from a foreign launched nuclear attack was not permitted on the grounds of the Carter home.  The “football” allows the President to launch counter measures within five minutes of a notification of a nuclear strike. It was kept with an agent in a military trailer in the neighboring town, Americus, which was fifteen minutes away.  

Rosalyn Carter mostly did her own thing- Unproven!
Although not much is written in Kessler’s book about Rosalyn Carter, other than she enjoyed a screwdriver before church on Sunday in a White House where the Carters had requested the removal of alcoholic beverages, there is no indication that she did her own thing.

Ronald Reagan was moral, honest, respectful, and dignified. The Reagan’s treated Secret Service and everyone else with respect and honor. Nancy Reagan was very nice but very protective of the President- Truth!
Ronald Reagan’s codename was Rawhide and according to Kessler’s book he treated the Secret Service agents, the Air Force One Crew and the staff of maids and butlers at the White House with respect.  President Reagan was known
to carry a fire arm and told a former agent that it was “just in case you guys can’t do your job, I can help out.”   A former agent told Kessler that when Reagan travelled on his first presidential trip to the Soviet Union he had packed a gun in his briefcase.   A former staff member told Kessler that “Reagan was famous for firing up Air Force jets on behalf of children who needed transport for kidney operations.” 

Kessler wrote that Nancy Reagan was very protective of her husband, oversaw his diet and all visits from the children of the President had to be cleared by her first.

George H. Bush was extremely kind, considerate and always respectful towards Secret Service agents.  They took great care in making sure the agents’ comforts were taken care of and even brought them meals.  Barbara Bush once gave a warm hat to a Secret Service agent while he was protecting the Bush’s at their Kennebunkport home in Maine – Truth!
A former agent told Kessler that the Bush’s were very considerate of the agents sworn to protect them.   The hat incident occurred while Mr. Bush was Vice President.

Bill Clinton’s term in office was one giant party, he was not trustworthy, adulterous and was only nice because he wanted everyone to like him.   Hillary Clinton was another phony whose personality would change the instant cameras were near. She hated with open disdain the military and Secret Service.  Truth!
A former agent told Kessler that William Jefferson Clinton, codename Eagle, was habitually one to two hours late for so many events that the agents assigned to protect him dubbed his tardiness “Clinton Standard Time.”  Clinton was caught in an adulterous affair with Monica Lewinsky and the Clintons, as well as many of the staff that they brought with them to the White House considered the military as “people who couldn’t get jobs.”   A former assistant pastry chef told Kessler that Hillary Clinton did not approve of maintenance work being done in the White House while they were present.  An agent assigned to protect her said that when she was in front of the press she “turns it on, and when the lights are off and she’s away from the lights, she’s a totally different person.”  The agent also said that she was sarcastic and angry at her staff and yelled at them.

Albert Gore was an egotistical ass, who was once overheard by his Secret Service detail lecturing his only son that he needed to do better in school or he “would end up like these guys”-
Kessler wrote that every agent assigned to protect the Vice President heard the famous reprimand to Al Gore III.  Gore, codenamed Sundance, told his son, “If you don’t straighten up, you won’t get into the right schools, and if you don’t get into the right schools, you could end up like these guys.”   As Gore said this he motioned to the agents.

George and Laura Bush were loved by the Secret Service. The President was also the most physically “in shape” and had a very strict workout regimen. The Bushes made sure their entire administrative and household staff understood to respect and be considerate of the Secret Service.   Laura Bush was one of the nicest First Ladies, if not the nicest; she never had any harsh word to say about anyone- Truth!
Agents told Kessler that they “were always amazed at the difference between Bush in person and the way he came across at press conferences.”   An agent assigned to George W. Bush, codenamed Trailblazer , said that although he seemed awkward in front of the microphone that he was “funny as hell,” and had an incredible sense of humor.  The agents loved to run with Bush and the Secret Service assigned its best runners to keep up with him.  Bad knees eventually caused President Bush to switch to a bicycle.  An agent told Kessler that Laura Bush had “the undying admiration of almost every agent,” and that he had not heard anything negative about her.

Barack and Michelle Obama look down on the Secret Service and hate the military.  He is egotistical, cunning and untrustworthy and has temper tantrums. Michelle is a complete bitch, who hates anybody who is not black; hates the military; and looks at the Secret Service as servants- Fiction! & Unproven!
According to Kessler’s book, agents said that are treated with respect by both Barack Obama, codename Renegade, and First Lady Michelle, whose codename is Renaissance. They also said that agents were twice invited “to dinner, including a party for a relative, both at his home.”  The agent also said that Michelle insisted that agents call her by her first name.

There was no mention in the book of how the Obama’s felt about the military.

updated 02/01/12