Chris Whipple has a new book coming out: The Fight Of His Life: Inside Joe Biden’s White House. Whipple, who previously wrote The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, will now detail the first two years of the Joe Biden administration. The book is reported to provide a mostly positive spin on Biden’s tenure, especially his efforts to handle several significant crises – including the COVID 19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – while also handling former President Donald Trump’s false assertion that he won the 2020 election.
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Yet, one of the book’s most surprising bits is the suggestion that Biden does not trust the Secret Service. In one passage from The Fight Of His Life, Biden was showing a friend around the White House and pointed out the spot where Biden’s German Shephard Major supposedly bit a member of the Secret Service. “Look,” Biden told his friend, “the Secret Service are never up here. It didn’t happen.”
So, essentially, Biden is claiming that the Secret Service fabricated a story about Biden’s dog biting someone.
White House spokesperson issued a statement that didn’t quite get around to denying Biden’s statement. “We respect that there will be no shortage of books written about the administration containing a wide variety of claims. We don’t plan to engage in confirmations or denials when it comes to the specifics of those claims. The author did not give us a chance to verify the materials that are attributed here.”
Well, you’ve got a chance to verify the materials now. What do you think? Legitimate or not?
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told Vox that Biden “has confidence in the men and women who protect him and his family.”
The notion is plausible. The Clinton administration was understood to be on edge around their Secret Service agents – in large part because the Secret Service had been so close with, and so adored by, former President George H. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush. Bill Clinton, by contrast, didn’t trust the agents and Hillary apparently treated agents like “the help.” Chelsea Clinton, then a teenager, reportedly referred to Secret Service agents as “pigs.”
So, there is precedent for distrust between new presidential administrations and Secret Service staff who of course serve from one administration to the next.
Concerns over Donald Trump
The book discusses in great detail how fixated the Biden team was on the prospect of Trump using the US military to retain power.
Apparently, Biden’s team was actively preparing for the possibility that Trump would use the military to overturn the 2020 election (which he lost by 7 million votes).
Other officials seem to have shared Biden’s concerns.
Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently discussed their respective concerns for Trump to each other. Pelosi also serves as a go-between for Milley and the Biden team throughout the presidential transition. Biden’s concerns about Trump efforts to stay in power were so myopic before taking office “that his advisers blamed it, in part, for contributing to the military’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
Biden even attempted to remove “reminders” of Trump from the White House. According to Whipple’s book, Biden wanted the Resolute desk removed from the Oval Office simply because Trump had used it. “Biden believed [the Resolute desk] was tainted by Trump’s use of it.”
Biden wanted Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s old desk instead – but Biden’s efforts to obtain the desk were thwarted.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.