Lynch: Bill Clinton Meeting Will Have No Bearing On Outcome of Hillary Probe; "Certainly Wouldn't Do it Again"


U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is interviewed by Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart at the Aspen Ideas Festival about her secret airplane meeting with former President Bill Clinton last week in Arizona. Lynch

"I certainly would not do it again, because it has cast a shadow over something," Lynch said, regretting the private meeting.

LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL: He said hello and we basically said hello, and I congratulated him on his grandchildren — as people tend to do. And that led to a conversation about those grandchildren, who do sound great, and that led to a conversation about his travels, and he told me what he was doing in Phoenix and various things, and then we spoke about former Attorney General Janet Reno. But it really was a social meeting, and it really was in that regard: He spoke to me, he spoke to my husband for some time on the plane, and then we moved on...

I do think that no matter how I viewed it, I understand how people view it, and I think that because of that and because of the fact that it has now cast a shadow over how this case may be perceived, no matter how it's resolved, it's important to talk about how it will be resolved. It's important to make it clear that that meeting with President Clinton does not have a bearing on how this matter is going to be reviewed, resolved and accepted by me — because that is the question that it raises...

The issue is how does it impact the work I do and what the Department of Justice does. I certainly would not do it again, because it has cast a shadow over something. It is important to talk about how this matter will be resolved and how the review, how the determination and decisions will be made.

I can say it is going to be handled by career people, but unless people have insight into the process, they will not be able to evaluate that. The most important thing for me as Attorney General is the integrity of the Department of Justice and the fact that meeting that I had is testing a shadow on how people will view that work is something I take seriously and deeply and painfully.

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