On Sunday during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Attorney General Loretta Lynch confessed that she regrets her impromptu meeting with former President Bill Clinton on the Phoenix, Arizona airport tarmac in late June this summer. The infamous meeting, which Lynch has repeatedly assured was cordial, garnered much speculation and criticism considering at the time the FBI was still investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a secret server for her emails during her days as secretary of state.
Questions began to surface if Lynch could remain impartial to the investigation following the unscheduled meeting, which many media outlets speculated was a “Clinton cornering” of the Attorney General. It also did not help the case that a few days later, FBI Director James Comey cleared Clinton of the charges.
“I wish I had seen around that corner and not had that discussion with the former president, as innocuous as it was, because it did give people concern,” Lynch said on “State of the Union.” “It did make people wonder, ‘Is it going to affect the investigation that’s going on?’ and that’s not something that was an unreasonable question for anyone to ask.”
Lynch then denied to give any insight as to why the former President sought her out: “Well, I can’t say what President Clinton saw or thought because I wasn’t in communication with him before that. I don’t know what was in his mind.”
She then adds how the conservation went longer than expected, since Clinton is a bit of a “talker” Lynch joked to host Jake Tapper. “And our conversation went on a lot longer certainly than I had anticipated, because it was just going to be ‘Hello, how are you?’ and everyone was just going to go on about their evening,” Lynch said.
Finally, Lynch full-on admitted she regrets the meeting for occurring, since it created an atmosphere of second guessing and suspicion that there was more at play in the investigation behind closed doors. Ultimately, it led to public distrust, which Lynch acknowledges:
“I do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him because it did give people concern. And as I said, my greatest concern has always been making sure people understand the Department of Justice works in a way that’s independent and looks at everybody equally. And when you do something that gives people a reason to think differently, that’s a problem. It’s a problem for me. It was painful for me.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 18, 2016
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