Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, a conservative radio host who once served as Air Force Aide to President Bill Clinton, claimed Thursday that armed services troops referred to a flight former First Lady Hillary Clinton was on by the callsign, “Broomstick One.”
“Years after my time in the Clinton White House, I was embedded in Iraq working on my third book (War Crimes),” Patterson said in a tweet. “@hillaryclinton came to visit the troops. The call sign for her flight, assigned by the troops, was ‘Broomstick One.’ True story.”
It’s not the first time Patterson, a staunch critic of the Clinton administration, has made the claim.
Years after my time in the Clinton White House, I was embedded in Iraq working on my third book (War Crimes). @hillaryclinton came to visit the troops. The call sign for her flight, assigned by the troops, was "Broomstick One." True story.
— Buzz Patterson (@BuzzPatterson) June 14, 2019
The fact-checking website Snopes investigated the claim in October of 2016 and declared it “unproven.”
“Most of the commonly cited instances, however, which allegedly took place while the Clintons resided in the White House between 1993 and 2001, have proved to be anecdotal and impossible to confirm,” Snopes’ David Emery wrote in reference to the “general partisan caricature of Hillary Clinton as an evil witch.”
Snopes’ article did not mention Patterson’s comments.
Conservatives have long accused the former first lady of behaving poorly toward the security agents assigned to protect her.
According to FBI documents released in October of 2016, Clinton’s “treatment of DS agents on her protective detail was so contemptuous that many of them sought reassignment or employment elsewhere.”
“Prior to CLINTON’s tenure, being an agent on the Secretary of State’s protective detail was seen as an honor and privilege reserved for senior agents. However, by the end of CLINTON’s tenure, it was staffed largely with new agents because it was difficult to find senior agents willing to work for her,” reads the summary of an interview with an official who formerly worked for the Departments of State and Homeland Security.
Is the Broomstick One story really just about sexism?
Many liberals and Clinton supporters have claimed characterizations of the former secretary of state as “unlikable” are motivated by sexism.
“The same day Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced plans to seek the 2020 Democratic nomination, the sexist media narratives of elections gone by staged a comeback in the form of a Politico article highlighting concerns that Warren may share too many “attributes” with Hillary Clinton to be ‘likable,'” he wrote.
- Broomstick One: Hillary Clinton speaks on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” on May 1, 2019.: Screen grab