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Bill Clinton, Loretta Lynch met privately at Phoenix airport

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke in Washington on June 14. Former President Bill Clinton spoke with Lynch during an impromptu meeting in Phoenix, but Lynch said the discussion did not involve the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use as secretary of state.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Former President Bill Clint spoke in Portland, Ore. on May 5 while campaigning for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The former president spoke with Attorney General Loretta Lynch during an impromptu meeting in Phoenix, but Lynch said the discussion did not involve the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use as secretary of state.

NEW YORK » Former President Bill Clinton spoke with Attorney General Loretta Lynch during an impromptu meeting in Phoenix, but Lynch said the discussion did not involve the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use as secretary of state.

Lynch told reporters that the meeting at a Phoenix airport on Monday was unplanned and happened while the former president was waiting to depart and walked over to the attorney general’s plane after she landed there.

Lynch was traveling with her husband and said her conversation with the former president “was a great deal about his grandchildren” and their travels. The former president, who recently became a grandfather for the second time, told her he had been playing golf in Arizona and they discussed former Attorney General Janet Reno, whom they both know.

“There was no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending for any other body. There was no discussion of Benghazi, no discussion of the State Department emails, by way of example,” Lynch said in Phoenix.

The exchange comes as the FBI is investigating the potential mishandling of sensitive information that passed through the server Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, used for personal and government correspondence as secretary of state.

Republicans have called for an independent prosecutor, saying the Justice Department under a Democratic president should not be investigating a Democratic presidential candidate.

“This incident does nothing to instill confidence in the American people that her department can fully and fairly conduct this investigation, and that’s why a special counsel is needed now more than ever,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn in a statement.

Lynch, in a later meeting with reporters in Los Angeles, deflected questions about whether the meeting was appropriate — or created an appearance of impropriety — given the investigation. She noted that the investigation is being conducted by career investigators and agents “who always follow facts and the law.”

David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, said on Twitter that he takes Lynch and the ex-president “at their word that their convo in Phoenix didn’t touch on probe. But foolish to create such optics.”

Top Senate Democrats defended Lynch today. Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said her ethics “are the best.” Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, Reid’s likely successor in Democratic leadership, said nothing discussed was related to the investigation.

Hillary Clinton has not been interviewed by the FBI, but the Justice Department’s yearlong probe into the email server appears to be nearing a conclusion. Clinton has said that her decision to rely on a private server was a mistake but that other secretaries of state had also used personal email addresses.

The matter was referred for investigation last July by the inspectors general for the State Department and intelligence community following the discovery of emails that they said contained classified information.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest wouldn’t say whether the meeting was appropriate, only that Lynch understands that the rule of law is paramount, as does Obama.

“She certainly understands that investigations should be conducted free of political interference and consistent with the facts,” Earnest said.

Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

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  • If Bill Clinton felt it was necessary to see AG Lynch, it may mean that President Obama is leaving the decision to indict Hillary on AG Lynch’s shoulders.
    Very much like Obama. Kind of like Pontius Pilate, washing his hands of the decision to crucify Joshua Ben Joseph (Christ).

      • OldDiver, the AG (Lynch) running into a disgraced Attorney (Pres. Clinton) where both understand the consequence of “any” discussion beyond “good morning”, places the criminal investigations (Emails and Foundation) by the FBI into question by the Federal Courts. Is the AG attempting to corrupt the FBI’s cases? Why? So easy to say “Hello” and walk away.

        • You’re lying. Those conversations have no bearing whatever on a criminal case.

          Can you please – just once – write something truthful?

        • Yes, Klastri, we know you were there and can testify that the conversation had no bearing whatever on a criminal case. Just once, please say something we can truly believe.

      • Not so, OD, Bill Clinton got off his plane and walked across the tarmac to her plane. Could you get of your plane and walk across the tarmac to meet with your friend? I didn’t think so.

      • OldDiver says:
        “They ran into each other at the airport like Hawaii residents run into each other in Las Vegas”

        Read the article again you silly goose.

        They were in DIFFERENT PRIVATE JETS! The only way the could accidentally run into each other is a midair collision.

        When you fly to Vegas in your private jet, do you really run into other people from Hawaii in their private jets?

        • If a former president meets with the attorney general, there’s nothing accidental about it. Both have protective details that would make such “accidents” unlikely. Perhaps Hillary will offer to keep Lynch on at the Justice department if she withholds charges. It may very well be career agents doing the investigation but it will be Lynch or Obama that decides if charges are brought against Clinton. If they were going to charge her, they would have done it already. There is no doubt she broke some laws by using a private serer for government business, whether intentional or not. Personally, I think she knew exactly what she was doing, she did it to maintain control over her emails and who could see them. She knew she would be running for office and did it to protect herself. Both she and her husband are lawyers, if she didn’t know she was breaking federal law she should have. So she’s either a liar or incompetent, neither trait makes for a good chief executive. She’s lucky it’s Trump running against her, the odds of him getting elected are manini.

  • Perhaps Bill was there to hint to Lynch that Hillary should be indicted.

    It would give Bill some private time away from his wife.

    Based on what her appointed guard, who wrote a book about her insane rages, said about her. Lol!

  • Impropriety! Why expose oneself to a situation that is mostly surely conjure in individuals’ minds, a “fix” is in?. 30 minutes sure looks like a long time to discuss oohs and aahs about grandchildren. For the top law enforcement officer of the land, not to disclose “the so called haphazard chance meeting” with the former President whose spouse is the subject of investigation by the FBI, not important enough to be disclosed is certainly very unwise! Questions of integrity certainly becomes evident!

      • America is great sarge, now that we have been away from republican leadership for over 7 years. Sadly if your hero, the Donald somehow becomes president, we will soon be back in a major recession.

        • The tables have turned in this week’s White House Watch. After trailing Hillary Clinton by five points for the prior two weeks, Donald Trump has now taken a four-point lead.

          The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump with 43% of the vote, while Clinton earns 39%. Twelve percent (12%) still like another candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

        • Rasmussen is a GOP shill, and that poll is an outlier. It’s bucking the trends of every other poll. But go ahead and cherrypick if it feeds your delusion.

  • Lynch’s legacy, if she cares about it, is now somewhat dependent on whether Clinton is indicted. By a lot of accounts, including independent observers, there’s already enough reasons acknowledged to have happened to bring charges against her. I personally believe that if Clinton was going to be indicted it would have happened by now. Whether it be because of partisan politics, lack of evidence or the fact that public officials are above the law it seems too late now.

  • Reminds me of The Godfather II scene in the Senate committee hearing when the mobster Pantangello (sp?) was to take the stand to squeal on the mob and Corleone. Just before he testifies he notices his brother from Sicily is in the room and gives him a look. Without the two saying a word, Pantangello ends up testifying he doesn’t know a thing about the mob business to the committee.

    “There was no discussion of any matter … “. Maybe, but the message was clear.

    • Clinton appointed Lynch to the Federal Bench in 1999. They spoke “primarily” about travel and grandkids.
      What Bill had on his mind couldn’t have taken a minute if that. Loretta, I need your help. If I and/or Hillary go down, you are going down with us, nod if you understand. Blink if I have your word. How’s the grandkids, how’s your golf game, how’s your travel, got to go.

  • Doubt the meeting was spur of the moment. The deal offered by Bill to Lynch is if Hillary is not indicted for email-gate, both Bill and Hillary will offer her the Attorney General position beyond her Obama appointment if Hillary becomes Pres of the US. I am not a fan of Hillary but Trump is going down in flames and all the attempts at propping him up by Fox New’s Hannity, Gingrich, Bollen, Janine Shapiro, etc. will not help because all they are doing are preaching to the choir of Trump supporters. Kind of resigned to the fact the Hillary will become the next Pres of the United States. Trump definitely should never be Pres of the US given just as a presidential candidate, races wars within the US are starting to rise up even beyond Obama. Garans all 4 Hawaii electoral votes will go to Clinton.

    • Please join an increasing number of voters who have turned away from the twin disasters waiting to happen and are supporting Gary Johnson. Listen to his positions, check his credentials, verify his experience, and you’ll realize he’s the only candidate worth voting for.

  • Don’t fret, this wasn’t an official meeting because they didn’t have a quorum. The rest of the Trilateralists were all in Austria at the annual Bilderberger BBQ.

  • with obama opening up trade with cuba, lynch was merely delivering a special box of cigars to slick just in time for him to turn over a couple of pages.

  • Clinton is such a crook… how anyone could vote for her is beyond belief.. or just they are sellouts whose way of life depends on demorats getting elected

  • even if nothing of consequence was discussed (no one else would know, the appearance does look bad for both. this informal meeting should not have taken place. this could lead to disqualify the AG from the case and an independent investigator hired, which could be adverse to Hillary. this was dumb. bill may have just lost Hillary’s chances of becoming president.

  • Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton, both should have known better; but I think it was coordinated in such a manner as to relieve Lynch of having the burden on her shoulders personally. Which means that the FBI report will clear Hillary Clinton of any wrong doing or just minimize what the Republicans/Trump camps wish would be damaging to Hillary’s campaign.

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