The White House today explained that Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s meeting with President Obama earlier this week was “private” and that it would be “protective” of his right to do so.
The guiding principal is that we’re going to be very protective of the right of the President of the United States to have private meetings,” Earnest said. “But that where possible, and when we determine that we can, we’re going to do our best to try to let you know what the president is up to.”
Earnest said that Obama’s right to have private meetings was part of the principle followed on Monday, when a secret meeting with Clinton took place without a prior announcement to the press.
White House reporters were frustrated after Earnest failed to reveal that Clinton would be visiting the White House, even though he was directly asked about it at the daily press briefing. Only later in the evening did Earnest send a statement to reporters announcing that the meeting in question did take place.
“I was asked a very direct question about it in the briefing, and I said in the context of that briefing if we had any additional information, we would provide it. And we had additional information, and it was provided,” Earnest said defensively.
Any further meetings with any 2016 presidential candidates would be considered private, Earnest asserted.
“That will be the guiding principal moving forward,” he added.