A source inside the federal security force protecting both President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch told The New York Observer that Clinton manipulated his own takeoff from the private executive cordon of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport Monday to ensure he could meet Lynch:
Nobody knew this was coming. We just knew to be aware there were other events going on. There was no planned meeting. It was just chance contact. The fact is, he just started walking over. I don’t think it was pre-arranged. He just started walking over and [even her security] can’t tell him, ‘you can’t do that.’ He walked in her plane for at least 20 to 25 minutes and the FBI is standing face to face with the Secret Service and just chatting on the hot tarmac like, ‘what the hell.’
Trump tweeted many times about the meeting between the former president and Lynch, including this one:
Bill Clinton’s meeting was a total secret. Nobody was to know about it but he was caught by a local reporter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2016
The meeting sparked a firestorm as both the former president and Hillary Clinton are under investigation by the FBI, which falls under the Department of Justice. The former president is being investigated for his handling of the Clinton Foundation and his wife, the woman President Barack Obama endorsed to succeed him as president, is being investigated for her scheme to conduct all electronic correspondence as secretary of state through a private email account housed at private server at her Chappaqua, New York home.
The source said the plan among airport and security officials was for Clinton’s plane to take off before Lynch’s plane landed in order to avoid the bulge of two VIP’s stretching the security pocket that would have included local FBI and Washington-based FBI with the attorney general and Clinton’s own Secret Service security detail, in addition to local police and standby emergency medical personnel.
Apparently, members of Clinton’s own traveling party waiting for his motorcade to arrive did not know what the delay was–but, his motorcade did not swing into the section of the airport until Lynch’s plane was at wheels stop, the source said. The two jets were 75 feet apart.
Then I see Clinton walking over. His detail guys ran over to hers and said he’s coming. ‘He’s closing.’ He walked straight there to the Air Force guy at the door and next thing I know he’s going up the steps [of her plane].” Asked about the Air Force detail, the source later clarified to the Observer that “There was an Air Force airman at the base of the stairs of the [Lynch] aircraft, as you always see on TV with POTUS.
The source told The Observer, he does not agree with the politics of Obama or Loretta Lynch or the Clintons, but in this case, he was just a guy doing his job and watching the scene unfold in front of him:
I don’t agree with her politics and all that, but I knew from the beginning that she got caught off guard and her staff was already talking about it that it’s going to be a political problem for her. Her staff was flipping out. We didn’t think about the political part until we saw her staff flipping out. For the security guys, it was more of a ‘I’ve got armed guys coming into my perimeter’ problem. But the staff guys saw right away that it was a political problem. After Clinton got off, they were like, ‘that wasn’t good.’ And I know from others who were in the actual car with her that her people knew immediately the political ramifications of it and were very upset.
The Phoenix Tarmac Summit was one day before the House Select Committee on Benghazi released its proposed report and may have prompted the FBI to quicken the timetable of its investigation of the former first lady. Saturday, FBI agents interviewed the former first lady for more than three hours–some say, marking the end of the investigation.