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A chain e-mail alleges that Bill and Hillary Clinton are cashing in on a policy in which the Secret Service reimburses the people it protects for space in their homes that is used by agents. (Click here for the full text of the e-mail.)
The allegation began after the Clintons purchased a home in Chappaqua, N.Y. during the end of Bill's presidency. About two weeks before they left office, a short item headlined "Another freebie for the Clintons" on the New York Press Web site said the Secret Service was paying rent and that "by an amazing coincidence . . . matches the monthly mortgage payment for the entire property." There were no other details.
That allegation was then repeated in a chain e-mail, with the additional detail that the Secret Service was paying $10,000 per month.
The e-mail says "an extra residency had to be built within the acreage in order to house the Secret Service agents ... The Clinton's now charge the Secret Service $10,000 monthly rent for the use of said Secret Service residence and that rent is just about equal to their mortgage payment."
We checked with the Secret Service, which declined to comment and referred us to Clinton's Senate office.
Philippe Reines, Clinton's press spokesman, said in an e-mail message, "They have not and do not receive money" from the Secret Service.
That matches a statement from White House spokeswoman Nanda Chitre, who told the New York Post in January 2001 that "They are entitled to charge rent, but they have decided not to do it."
So we find the charge to be False.
New York Press, Another freebie for the Clintons, Jan. 10, 2001
American Gold Star Mothers, Hillary Rumor Not True
NewsMax.com, Hillary Snubs Gold Star Mothers Mary 26, 2001
BreakTheChain.org, All That Glitters Oct. 17, 2001
The Politico, Untraceable e-mails spread Obama rumor Oct. 15, 2007
Albany Times Union, Clinton smooths out Gold Star flap, Aug. 3, 2001
Clinton news release, Senator Clinton Introduces Legislation to Provide Special Pension to Parents of Servicemen and Servicewomen Killed During War July 2, 2004
Interviews with Philippe Reines, spokesman for Sen. Hillary Clinton; Hamilton McWhorter (by email); Louise McWhorter; Dan Frisa, NewsMax columnist; Stephen Stambough, Political Science professor, Cal State Fullerton; Shirley Jones former national legislative chairman, American Gold Star Mothers; Georgianna Carter-Krell, first vice president, American Gold Star Mothers; John Ratliff, editor, BreakTheChain.org; Chris Lehane, former press secretary to Vice President Gore.
William Safire, Safire's Political Dictionary , Third Edition, Ballantine Books, 1978
Edward J. Larson, A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign, Free Press, 2007
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising, Oxford University Press, 1996
National Public Radio, Kenneth C. Davis commentary on history of mudslinging
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