As he has for much of his post-presidency, Bill Clinton was on the road again in June, traveling to Europe at the end of the month for various conferences and other public appearances. After a few days in London, the president popped over to Paris for a day or two to shop at Hermès, a well-known luxury boutique. Such trips, however, do not come cheap. Hotel contracts for the president's Secret Service team for the Paris leg of the trip alone came to over $48,000.
The main focus of Mr. Clinton's European trip appears to have been a keynote address at the 2015 Conference on Inclusive Capitalism, an encore of his 2014 appearance. However, the president also headlined the Walkabout Foundation's Inaugural Gala at London's Natural History Museum. (The Walkabout Foundation is a non-profit that funds research on paralysis and donates wheelchairs to needy people worldwide.) Included among the guests at the Gala were Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana of currently beleaguered nation of Greece. President Clinton also visited east London charity UK City Year during his stay in the United Kingdom's capital.
While President Clinton's London stop included numerous public appearances, the Paris visit seems to have been more personal in nature. While People magazine reported his excursion to Hermès, the president eschewed the press for most of his time in the City of Lights. His activities did not go completely unnoticed, however, with Twitter users reporting his presence at the Four Seasons Hotel George V and on an unidentified sidewalk in the city.
Though the president was reportedly spotted at the Paris Four Seasons, the two hotels for the Secret Service detail were the Hotel de Sers (five stars) and the Hotel Edouard 7 (four stars):
FPOTUS CLINTON - ACCOMMODATION FOR USSS AGENTS Current Contract Value: $24,169 HOTEL DE SERS
FPOTUS CLINTON ACCOMMODATION FOR USS AGENTS Current Contract Value: $24,487 HOTEL EDOUARD 7
Last week, Liz Harrington of the Washington Free Beaconreported on a contract with Biribin Limousines in Paris that came to $8,852 for vehicles for the Secret Service related to the president's visit.
Contracts for hotels and vehicles for the Secret Service for the London leg of the president's trip have not yet been posted, but are likely to be substantial as well. As THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported last month, Secret Service hotel and vehicle contracts for the Clinton's Dominican Republic vacation six months ago topped $210,000.
Citing a lack of cooperation from the Secret Service, Chairman Jason Chaffetz of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued subpoenas for two Secret Service agents to testify to the committee about recent security breaches and other disfunction at the agency.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a couple paid speeches in Canada yesterday. She was reportedly accompanied by 65 agents of the United States Secret Service to at least one of the events.
The agents were presumably on hand to help keep the former first lady safe.
The news of Clinton's large Secret Service contigent was reported by CJME News Talk 980, a co-sponsor of the event.
The Scrapbook was recently witness to a harmonic convergence. It began the other evening as we set out, on foot, from The Weekly Standard offices to dinner at a restaurant two blocks east of the White House. It was a cold night and, wrapped securely against the wind in overcoat, scarf, gloves, and tweed cap, The Scrapbook strode confidently across the infamous K Street, along nearby Farragut Square, and then turned left at H Street to cut through Lafayette Park.
As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.
But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.
Last week, while Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria burned, and the immigration crisis intensified along the Texas-Mexico border, President Obama was hard at work for two days in Los Angeles raising funds for the Democratic party.
President Obama says he's not the one who canceled the White House tours. He made the comments in an interview with ABC News.
"[O]ne more question about the spending cuts," said the interviewer from ABC News. "You’ve been takin’ a lotta heat for this cancellation of the White House tours. They get– the Secret Service says it’s costs about $74,000 a week. Was canceling them really necessary?"