A New York Post “exclusive” over the weekend pointed a finger for the leak leading to the story of Hillary Clinton’s personal e-mail habit while serving as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. “President Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett leaked to the press details of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address during her time as secretary of state, sources tell me,” reads the March 14 story.
“Me,” in this instance, is Edward Klein, author of “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas.”
Asked today about that report, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “It’s utter baloney.”
Consistent with New York Post standards, the Klein allegation carried no on-the-record sources, documents or whiff of plausibility. Instead, it featured just the opposite — implausibility in every line. For example, here’s a second-hand quote from former president Bill Clinton via Klein:
“My contacts and friends in newspapers and TV tell me that they’ve been contacted by the White House and offered all kinds of negative stories about us,” one of Bill’s friends quotes him as saying.
Upon publication of “Blood Feud” last June, the New York Post floated an excerpt that took readers INSIDE the chat between Hillary Clinton and President Obama on Sept. 11, 2012, the night of the Benghazi attacks.
“Hillary was stunned when she heard the president talk about the Benghazi attack,” one of her top legal advisers said in an interview. “Obama wanted her to say that the attack had been a spontaneous demonstration triggered by an obscure video on the Internet that demeaned the Prophet Mohammed.”
The excerpt went on to report that Bill Clinton had quipped to his wife, “I can’t believe the president is claiming it wasn’t terrorism. Then again, maybe I can. It looks like Obama isn’t going to allow anyone to say that terrorism has occurred on his watch.” Via such quotes, Klein is leagues ahead of the rest of the media in documenting just what Obama did on the night of the attacks.
Those quotes worked wonders. The next Klein installment in the New York Post boasted, “Edward Klein’s book about the animosity between the Clintons and Obamas, “Blood Feud” (Regnery Publishing), rocketed up the best-seller charts since it was featured in The Post last Sunday.” That installment alleged that Bill Clinton had plotted with his wife about how to maximize his death for political advantage:
“Obviously, you have to have a big state funeral for me, with as much pomp and circumstance as possible,” he said. “I’m thinking maybe I should be buried at Arlington [National Cemetery] rather than at my library in Little Rock. After all, I was commander in chief for eight years and have every right to be buried at Arlington.”
“Some of the quotes strike me as odd in the sense that I don’t know people that speak this way,” said Rush Limbaugh in delivering a skeptical review of Klein’s stuff.
Nor is the material about Bill Clinton’s death-planning the most far-out allegation that Klein has advanced. In another book, he claimed that Chelsea Clinton was conceived as a result of a rape.
In light of the foregoing, what reporter would place before the White House press secretary a “scoop” coming from Edward Klein? Fox News reporter James Rosen.