In stark contrast to her predecessor, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton routinely flouted security procedures and traditional protocols, putting the lives of herself and others in danger and offending senior diplomats, a former Bureau of Diplomatic Security supervisor told the FBI.
The former agent, who left to become a Department of Homeland Security investigator, also said that Clinton gave an inordinate amount of power to her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin.
“This frequently resulted in complaints by ambassadors who were insulted and embarrassed by this breach of protocol.”
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A summary of that September 2015 interview is included in the 100 pages of investigative notes from the Clinton email server investigation that the agency released Monday. That probe ended with no criminal charges.
The agent served as an assistant shift commander for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security from 2007 to 2009, covering parts of the tenures of Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.
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“Rice observed strict adherence to State Department security and diplomatic protocols while Clinton frequently and ‘blatantly’ disregarded them,” the FBI agent wrote in the report, based on the interview with the former DS agent.
Clinton, for instance, ignored standard security procedures requiring the secretary of sate to ride in an armored limousine with the local U.S. ambassador when visiting countries abroad.
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“However, Clinton refused to do so, instead choosing to be accompanied in the limousine by her Chief of Staff Huma Abedin,” the report states. “This frequently resulted in complaints by ambassadors who were insulted and embarrassed by this breach of protocol.”
The report also includes the former security agent’s assessment that Abedin exercised “much more power” over the secretary’s staff and schedule than her predecessors.
The agent “believed that Abedin herself was often responsible for overriding security and diplomatic protocols on behalf of Clinton,” the FBI report states.
Abedin, who now works on Clinton’s presidential campaign, did not immediately respond to an inquiry for comment.
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The report points to several examples offered by the former security officer of Clinton disregarding the recommendations of the professionals tasked with protecting her. On a trip to Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2009, Clinton went ahead with a photo-op to promote her “clean kitchen stoves” initiative, even though security staff counseled against it.
The DS advance team determined the route could not be secured, the officer told the FBI.
“As such, the DS advance team recommended in writing that this excursion be stricken from the schedule but were told by DS management that it was going to happen because ‘she wanted it,'” the FBI report states. “DS agents felt this excursion into potentially hostile areas placed Clinton, her staff, the media, and her security detail in unnecessary danger in order to conduct a photo opportunity for ‘her election campaign.’ DS agents had the perception that Clinton was using her position as secretary of state to campaign for president of the United States.”
Such breaches were “abundant,” the agent told the FBI
The DS agents also believed Clinton traveled with “hand-picked media” who would present her in the best possible light, according to the report.
The report also details the former security agent’s belief that Clinton endangered the safety of her limo driver by ordering him to open his driver-side window during a trip to the Palestinian territories on the West Bank. The backseat windows are bulletproof and do not open but the door on the bulletproof driver’s side does open slightly.
The driver “initially declined to respond to Clinton’s requests; however, repeated demands by Clinton forced him to open his window despite the danger to himself and the occupants,” the former agent told the FBI.
The former agent also described a secure area called Post 1 inside the secretary of state’s inner office where no cellphones are allowed. Devices are supposed to be stored in lockers outside the area.
“Clinton refused to abide to this security requirement and brought her cellphone, believed to be a Blackberry,” prompting outrage among security officers who were required to follow the protocol, the report states.
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