An unannounced meeting held between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch on an airplane earlier this week is being called “foolish” and tone-deaf by several Democrats.
“I think that in these kind of meetings you can tell a lot through body language, by tone. And I think frankly President Clinton was, in his own way, taking the temperature of the Attorney General,” Doug Schoen, a former consultant for the former president, said during an appearance on Fox News on Thursday.Clinton and Lynch met for a half-hour Monday night at the Phoenix airport aboard her airplane. Lynch was in the city attending a forum on community policing. (RELATED: Why Did Bill Clinton And Loretta Lynch Meet On Her Airplane This Week?)
When asked by a local TV news station about the conclave, Lynch claimed that she and the former president only talked about golf and his grandchildren. She said they did not discuss the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Obama, said he believes Lynch but said on Thursday that it was nonetheless “foolish” for her to meet with the husband of the subject of an FBI investigation.
Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, who had endorsed Vice President Joe Biden for president, also said Thursday that the meeting should not have occurred.
“I do agree with you that it doesn’t send the right signal,” he said during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”
“She has generally shown excellent judgment and strong leadership of the department, and I’m convinced that she’s an independent attorney general,” Coons said of Lynch. “But I do think that this meeting sends the wrong signal and I don’t think it sends the right signal. I think she should have steered clear, even of a brief, casual social meeting with the former president.”
On Fox, Schoen said that he takes Lynch’s defense at “face value” but questioned the timing of the meeting.
“Given the timing…this was a meeting that probably best shouldn’t have been held,” he said.