Valerie Jarrett, a top White House adviser to Barack Obama, says she and the first family often snacked on chef-prepared foods and watched movies to relax in the evenings.
Obama’s favorite movies had complicated plot lines that involved suffering and ended with everyone dying, she has written in a new book.
“I think the contrast to real life made him feel better,” she said.
Then there were the globetrotting trips, including one in which she was given a briefcase full of diamonds and emeralds, she describes in the book.
The Daily Mail of London reported Jarrett, also known during Obama’s presidency as the “Night Stalker,” spent evenings at the White House watching movies, chatting, drinking cocktails and “eating open-faced BLT sandwiches prepared by White House chefs.”
“The former senior adviser was even nicknamed ‘Night Stalker’ by her White House colleagues who believed she would spend her nights at the family’s residence whispering into their ears and influencing policy,” the report said.
“It was true that I often went to the residence, a place where few in the White House were invited. The Obamas were my dear friends, in many ways the younger siblings I never had and we had agreed to do this chapter of our lives together,” she wrote. “I loved it in the residence. Weather permitting, we would sit on the Truman Balcony, enjoying the weather and a martini (or two), with delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by their extraordinary chefs; they used to make the most delicious, mini open-faced BLTs with a hit of sugar.”
She describes how she loved the theaters both at the White House and Camp David, because their chairs came with a blanket, pillow and footrest, if they were in the front row.
It was on a trip to the Middle East where she received a briefcase full of emeralds and diamonds from the Saudi king said the report about her book, “Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward.”
“In Saudi Arabia, they stayed at King Abdullah’s ranch where she found a large gift box in her villa that contained a huge, green leather briefcase made from reptile skin and filled with emeralds and diamonds, a necklace, earrings, a ring, two watches, a bejeweled pen,” the report said.
Such gifts are turned over to the State Department, according to federal law and regulations.
“We did what everybody else does: we talked about our kids, our families and favorite books, movies or TV shows,” she wrote.
The Daily Mail explained Jarrett became friends with the Obamas after hiring Michelle in 1991. She later became an adviser to both Obamas.
“Jarrett said on the night of the 2016 elections, she was with the Obamas watching the Marvel superhero movie Doctor Strange,” the report said. “When exit polls started to come in and the outlook did not seem good for Hillary, Michelle went to bed. Valerie decided to leave Barack alone. The next morning, ‘the election outcome was soul crushing. We were all clearly shattered.'”
She said she once had tried to talk Obama into seeking a third term, which an amendment to the Constitution forbids.
She helped him with his Senate race and later his presidential run.