Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday that she regrets having met with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix earlier this year while the FBI was probing Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, suggesting the discussion might have cast doubt on the integrity of that investigation.
“I do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him, because it did give people concern,” Lynch told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union. “And as I said, my greatest concern has always been making sure that people understand that the Department of Justice works in a way that is independent and looks at everybody equally.”
Lynch said the meeting gave “people a reason to think differently” about the impartiality of the investigation and of the department as a whole, describing the entire ordeal as “painful.” Lynch asserted at the time that the conversation was “cordial” and that she and Clinton did not discuss the FBI’s probe, but conservative pundits said the meeting was evidence that the department was unable to conduct an impartial investigation.
“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 added. “It did make people wonder, ‘is it going to affect the investigation that was going on?’”