White House officials emphatically denied Monday a report that senior White House aide Valerie Jarrett had ordered the State Department to launch a series of probes into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The inquiries were in response to a weekend column in the New York Post by author Edward Klein that said Ms. Jarrett ignited the issue both by ordering the State investigations and by leaking the information about Mrs. Clinton’s email server to reporters.
“These uncorroborated, third-hand allegations are not only nonsense, they are simply not true,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Jen Friedman told The Washington Times.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest had a brief response to the accusations about Ms. Jarrett earlier Monday.
“It’s utter baloney,” Mr. Earnest said. He did not elaborate.
The State Department had declined to comment Sunday on the matter, instead referring the issue to the White House.
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“The Department of State refers you to the White House regarding questions about Ms. Jarrett,” an agency press official told The Times on Sunday night.
Mr. Klein, a former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, reported that sources close to former President Bill Clinton suggested that Ms. Jarrett was trying to sink to Mrs. Clinton’s imminent campaign.
“At Jarrett’s behest, the State Department was ordered to launch a series of investigations into Hillary’s conduct at Foggy Bottom, including the use of her expense account, the disbursement of funds, her contact with foreign leaders and her possible collusion with the Clinton Foundation,” Mr. Klein wrote.
“Six separate probes into Hillary’s performance have been going on at the State Department. I’m told that the e-mail scandal was timed to come out just as Hillary was on the verge of formally announcing that she was running for president — and that there’s more to come,” he wrote.
However, a White House official dismissed the column on the basis of Mr. Klein’s credibility and past reporting on Democrats.
“I would also remind you that the source of these ridiculous allegations is someone who has a proven track record of blatantly misrepresenting the facts,” the official said.
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Mr. Klein has written several books about Democratic dynasties, detailing information about the Clintons, Kennedys and Obamas. Last year, he published, “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas.”
But his 2005 biography about Mrs. Clinton was widely criticized by both liberal and conservative news outlets partly because he implied through anonymous sources that Mr. Clinton engaged in sexual violence against his wife when their daughter, Chelsea was conceived. Politico stated the book contained, “serious factual errors, truncated and distorted quotes, and overall themes [that] don’t gibe with any other serious accounts of Clinton’s life.”
In his Post column, Mr. Klein also asserted Ms. Jarrett strategically used outside sources to leak news of Mrs. Clinton’s use of an outside email server.
From the Post report: “My contacts and friends in newspapers and TV tell me that they’ve been contacted by the White House and offered all kinds of negative stories about us,” one of Bill’s friends quoted him as saying. “The Obamas are behind the e-mail story, and they’re spreading rumors that I’ve been with women, that Hillary promoted people at the State Department who’d done favors for our foundation, that John Kerry had to clean up diplomatic messes Hillary left behind.”
Obama administration officials believe Mrs. Clinton is more likely to work with congressional Republicans, threatening Mr. Obama’s legacy, the column reported.
“Obama and Valerie Jarrett will go to any lengths to prevent Hillary from becoming president … They believe that Hillary, like her husband, is left of center, not a true-blue liberal,” said a source close to the White House, Mr. Klein wrote.
He also said that Ms. Jarrett promised to play favorites with media outlets if they granted Monica Lewinsky airtime and print space after she decided to talk to Vanity Fair last year to “burn the beret and bury the blue dress.”
“With Obama’s approval, Valerie has been holding secret meetings with [Gov.] Martin O’Malley and [Sen.] Elizabeth Warren. She’s promised O’Malley and Warren the full support of the White House if they will challenge Hillary for the presidential nomination,” Mr. Klein wrote.
• Dave Boyer contributed to this article.