Former Vice President Joe Biden has a long and strange history of inappropriate behavior – but one incident from his not-too-distant past is coming under new scrutiny as he seeks the highest office in the land.
It has to do with one of his more unusual personal habits.
“Agents say that, whether at the vice president’s residence or at his home in Delaware, Biden has a habit of swimming in his pool nude,” author Ronald Kessler wrote in the 2014 book “The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.”
For most people, this would be a personal quirk, something they do in the privacy of their own home.
But it’s quite different for someone who is under watchful eyes of the Secret Service.
There are rules, after all.
For example, presidents and vice president aren’t allowed to drive.
And if they want to do something even a little risky like swim, they essentially need a lifeguard around. They need the Secret Service standing by.
But rather than put on a pair of trunks when under the gaze of his hard-working agents, Biden reportedly made them watch him swim in the nude.
“Female Secret Service agents find that offensive,” Kessler wrote.
Kessler has written nearly two dozen books, including multiple best-sellers, with many offering behind-the-scenes accounts of the White House and government agencies including the FBI and CIA.
But none of them paint quite the mental picture found in the pages detailing Biden’s swimming habits.
And it’s part of a pattern for the former vice president.
He even has a category all to himself in the world of “memes,” or the little animated images on social media.
Most “memes” are funny and quirky; like cats chasing dogs and babies doing tricks, the kind of things that appear on Facebook.
But Biden’s category is called “Creepy Joe Biden,” but is also known as “Inappropriate Joe Biden” and “Creepy Uncle Joe,” and features animated videos of him getting awkwardly and uncomfortably close to women.
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“If anybody just types in ‘Creepy Uncle Joe’ videos, you come up with a treasure trove,” Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, noted last year during an interview on Fox News.
“He calls it affection and handshakes, his party calls it completely inappropriate,” Conway said.
Kessler’s book said that even without the nude swimming Biden managed to make life both difficult and uncomfortable for his Secret Service agents.
He was prone to making last-minute changes in his schedule, which meant agents would have to scramble to screen and clear unexpected locations and people.
And he forced them to keep a distance from his neighbors when he was home in Delaware, which meant both agents and equipment had to be kept further from the then-vice president that the agency likes.
This wasn’t just an inconvenience.
It was a matter of safety and security for both Biden and those assigned to protect him.
“What’s going to happen is either you’re going to have a dead vice president in Delaware or you’re going to have agents killed in Delaware because Secret Service management refused to stand up to (Biden),” one unnamed agent told Kessler.
With Secret Service agents back on the Biden detail now that he’s the Democratic nominee, they’re no doubt getting another look at his personal behavior.
Kessler wrote in 2014 that “being assigned to his detail is considered the second worst assignment in the Secret Service.”
That title belongs to the assignment guarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to Kessler.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”