Living With the Clintons: Bill’s Arkansas bodyguards tell the story the press missed.
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Patterson — tall and trim, with the upright demeanor and closely cropped hair of a military officer — recalled another example he witnessed late in the evening on the night after Clinton’s disastrous speech to the 1988 Democratic convention. “Norman Lear gave us a suite of offices in a building next to the CNN building where the governor and his staff were working. Sandy Berger [a longtime Clinton adviser and now deputy national security adviser] had flown in to write the speech. The day after, Clinton spent the day ‘spinning’ the press. Well, that night, when we finished, we went back to the offices around midnight and a young lady of about 30 or 32, [name withheld], who the governor had just met at the convention, was there to meet us. He took her back in a private office, closed the door, and stayed in there for an hour or so while I waited to take him back to the Marriott where he and Hillary were staying.”
According to the troopers, Clinton often visited his regular Little Rock girlfriends in the early morning, during what were ostensibly long jogs. “He would jog out of the mansion grounds very early most mornings and then we would go pick up him at a McDonald’s at 7th Street and Broadway,” Patterson said. “When we picked him up, half the time he would be covered in sweat and the other half of the time there wouldn’t be a drop of sweat on him, even in the middle of July in Little Rock. Sometimes I’d ask him, ‘How far did you run today governor?’ And he would say, ‘Five miles.’ I’d tell him there must be something wrong with his sweat glands because he didn’t have a drop of sweat on him. He’d say, ‘I can’t fool you guys, can I?’”
As the troopers recounted events, several times a month in the late evening, Clinton would leave the residence in a state car borrowed from one of the troopers, because the governor’s Lincoln was easily recognizable on the streets of Little Rock. “We were told to keep our cars clean for this purpose,” said Perry, who often lent Clinton his green Corsica. A few minutes after the lights clicked off in the first couple’s bedroom, Clinton would get out of bed and “go out for a drive,” leaving instructions at the guard house that if Hillary woke up, he was to be alerted on his cellular phone. On more than a dozen occasions since 1987, Patterson said he saw one of the troopers’ cars parked outside one particular girlfriend’s condominium as he drove home after being relieved from his shift at the mansion at midnight. The woman lived just a few doors from Patterson on Shadow Oaks in Sherwood, on the outskirts of Little Rock.
The troopers also drove Clinton from the capitol late in the evening to various women’s homes and waited for hours for him to emerge. They became expert at parking unobtrusively, by backing into driveways and the like. Patterson recalled that the first time he parked in this manner outside the home of the Clinton staffer in 1987, where he sat from midnight until about 4:30 a.m. waiting on the governor, Clinton congratulated him on his stealthiness. “He told me it was our responsibility to cover his ass so he wouldn’t get in trouble,” Patterson said.
By all accounts, whenever Clinton returned to the residence after one of these encounters, he went to the bathroom in the troopers’ guard house, where he washed up before entering the main house.
During the day, when Hillary was in town but not at home and Clinton wanted privacy in the residence with a woman, the troopers said, they were instructed to buzz him on the intercom as soon as Hillary’s car approached the front gate of the compound. When Hillary was out of town, the troopers remembered innumerable occasions when Bill wouldn’t hesitate to seize the opportunity to entertain women at all hours of the day and night, clearing them through the gates for what the troopers said he called a “personal tour of the mansion.”
After the presidential election, Bill instructed the troopers to clear women through the outer Secret Service blockade on the street by falsely identifying them as staff, or as cousins of the troopers. Shortly before the Clintons left Little Rock for Washington, Roger Perry said, one of the troopers (whom I also interviewed) told him that he had arranged for the AP&L employee to arrive at the governor’s mansion at 5:15 a.m., dressed in a trench coat and a baseball cap at Clinton’s instruction. The trooper told Perry he had told the Secret Service that she was “staff coming in very early.” Clinton had arranged for the trooper to bring the woman through a basement door, which opened into a game room, where Clinton was waiting. The trooper said he was instructed to stand at the top of the stairs leading from the basement to the main floor of the residence and to alert Clinton if Hillary woke up, according to Perry.
Over time, as both Patterson and Perry described it, each mistress was assigned a particular trooper whose job it was to call her and find out when she could see Bill at her home, drive her to various events where Bill was appearing, and deliver gifts to her. “Three times after the [presidential] election I called [the judge’s wife] to see if she was at home for the governor,” Patterson said. They also said Clinton regularly slipped them cash to pay for gifts for the women they were told to pick up from Victoria’s Secret in the Little Rock mall and other women’s shops around town. “He told us to make sure they were kept in the trunk of the cars and never bring them into the house where Hillary might see them,” Perry said. At Christmas 1992, the trooper whose request for autographed photos for his family Clinton had waved away was able to get his autographs only by insisting on a signature each time Clinton asked him to pick up and deliver a gift to a woman.
In everyone’s estimation, Clinton built relationships with each of the long-time girlfriends and treated them well, though perhaps manipulating them to his own ends. He once told Roger Perry he was in love with one of them, though there is debate among the troopers as to which of the women he meant.
When speaking to the troopers about these liaisons, Clinton was usually quite circumspect, but on some occasions he inexplicably permitted himself to be caught in flagrante delicto. More than once, Larry Patterson said, he stood guard and witnessed the department store clerk performing oral sex on Bill in a parked car, including in the parking lot of Chelsea’s elementary school, and on the grounds of the governor’s mansion.
In one instance, in the fall of 1988 or 1989, as Patterson remembered it, he was driving Clinton to an annual reception for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce in a hospitality suite at the Camelot Hotel in Little Rock. On the way, Clinton suggested a detour to Chelsea’s school, Booker Elementary. When they arrived, Clinton told Patterson the sales clerk was sitting in her car, which was parked in the otherwise deserted front parking lot. “I parked across the entrance and stood outside the car looking around, about 120 feet from where they were parked in a lot that was pretty well lit. I could see Clinton get into the front seat and then the lady’s head go into his lap. They stayed in the car for 30 or 40 minutes,” Patterson said.
In a second instance, Patterson was on duty at the residence, again late in the evening, when the same woman drove up in a yellow and black Datsun or Nissan pick-up truck and asked to see Clinton. “The governor came out of the residence and climbed into the front seat of the truck, which she parked in an area off the rear drive,” Patterson recalled. This time, Patterson said, with a gleam in his eye, he got an even clearer view of the sex act by aiming a remote-controlled camera with a swivel base mounted on a 30-foot pole in the back yard of the house right into the truck. The image was projected onto a 27-inch video screen in the guard house. “He was sitting on the passenger side and she was behind the wheel. I pointed the thing directly into the windshield, and watched on the screen as the governor [received oral sex],” Patterson said.
As this act was occurring, Chelsea’s babysitter at the time, Melissa Jolley, drove into the compound. Realizing that she would usually drive right by the area where the pick-up was parked on her way to the guest house where she lived, Patterson quickly intercepted her, told her there was a security problem on the grounds, and then instructed her to drive by a different route, go in her house, and stay there. “When they were done Clinton came running over to me and asked, ‘Did she see us? Did she see us?’ I told him what I’d done and he said ‘Atta boy,’” Patterson said.
On yet another occasion that Patterson described, the governor and his security detail arrived at the Little Rock airport and Clinton told his bodyguards that he was going to be driven back to the residence by the Arkansas lawyer, who had met the plane, so that she could show him her new Jaguar. “On the ride back he drove and she was nowhere to be seen in the car,” Patterson said. “Later he told me that he had researched the subject in the Bible and oral sex isn’t considered adultery.”
Like many men, Clinton and the troopers shared locker room comments about women and sex. “When he was in a down mood, all you had to do was start talking about sex and he would come alive,” said Perry. “I remember one time when I asked him to sign an autograph for a female friend, and he asked me, ‘Does she have big titties?’”
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