Wednesday, June 9, 2021

the last book I ever read (Carol Leonnig's Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, excerpt three)

from Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service by Carol Leonnig:

In 1969 and 1970, Nixon’s lawyer and staff had pressured the Secret Service to approve and pay for pricey purchases and renovations at Nixon’s private San Clemente and Key Biscayne homes. By having the Service label the expenses as necessary for security, Nixon was able to get taxpayers to buy new den furniture and fabrics to freshen the décor of his California estate. He also got them to pay for a new sewer line and new heating system in his home in Key Biscayne and to restore a crumbling gazebo his wife enjoyed because it overlooked the ocean. Nixon and his close friend Bebe Rebozo owned homes near each other in Key Biscayne; Nixon aides asked the Secret Service to pay for a helipad and docking equipment for Rebozo’s yacht, and a “booster transformer” to help power a sauna bath in the friend’s home, according to work orders.

One of the president’s legal assistants bragged at her success in getting a new exhaust fan for the house fireplace labeled a security expense when Nixon complained it didn’t draft properly. “Ken Iacovone informed me that SS would pay for the installation of the fireplace fan after I informed him that it definitely was placed for security purposes and how would he like it if you know who was asphyxiated ever,” she wrote.

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