There’s no way to spin this positively for the Clintons. The former president met privately with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on an airplane in Phoenix this week that set off a firestorm of commentary and intrigue that’s all to familiar when it comes to speaking about the power couple. Lynch said that the conversation mostly centered on grandchildren, but when a former president meets with the country’s leading prosecuting attorney while his spouse is under federal investigation for allegedly mishandling classified information—there’s no way to make anyone belief that their conversation was about family.
Even if true, the optics is unable to be shifted. Political commentators of all stripes noted how idiotic this move was on behalf of Bill Clinton, which only injected steroids into the criticism that the couple is above the law and play by their own rules. Not the best move for the husband of the presumptive Democratic nominee who is running neck-and-neck with someone the Left thinks will be a pushover come November.
Yet, Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin had another explanation for the secret rendezvous, which he told Today’s Matt Lauer: Bill is just Mr. Sociable. Yet, to be fair, he did say that this meeting does hurt the perception that this investigation is going to be handled apolitically, despite whatever Lynch says over the fallout. Moreover, to talk about grandkids for a half hour seems to be a bit of a stretch too (via Newsbusters):
MATT LAUER: I know you think that Loretta Lynch is doing the right thing here saying she’ll go along with whatever the FBI decides in this, but has this in some ways already jeopardized the investigation?
MARK HALPERIN: It certainly hurts it. In our polarized country, people who were going to be suspicious of this will become more suspicious. She probably would have done this anyway, she would have deferred to the career prosecutors, to the FBI, both because it's the right thing to do and because the appearance would be horrible. This is the President's appointee as attorney general. It makes the decision now even more high profile.
TAMRON HALL: Mark, to the optics of this, the Clintons know better than anyone else what this – the appearance in the divisive world we live in. Why this error? Why this unnecessary meeting?
HALPERIN: The most obvious explanation and probably the right one, is Bill Clinton is a really social guy, right? And we’ve all seen situations where famous people on the tarmac, the two planes, it's kind of fun, “Hey, let's go over and visit.” Someone – Bill Clinton or Loretta Lynch – or someone who worked for them standing there should have said, “This is the wrong time for a social meeting.” The fact that it was 30 minutes is arousing a lot of suspicion. You know, talking about golf and grandkids for 30 minutes? That's a long time. That's without commercial breaks, that’s a solid 30 minutes. And the President knew this was a critical time, I’m sure he regrets it. But the suspicion will never go away.
Lynch has gone onto say that she’s not recusing herself, and that she would pursue whatever the FBI recommends at the conclusion of their investigation. That being said, the FBI isn’t happy over this private meeting at all—and for good reason.