Ethan Miller (L), Mandel Ngan/AFP (R)/Getty Images
New information regarding the controversial (and reportedly impromptu) meeting between former President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch earlier this week suggests that it may not have been so unplanned after all.
The meeting between Clinton and Lynch took place on the runway at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport last Monday. According to a highly-vetted source that was present the entire time, the former president allegedly delayed his departure in order to create the run-in.
The source told the New York Observer in an exclusive interview published on Friday:
"We were waiting for her plane to touch down at the executive terminal area of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor where it’s best suited to control. Clinton’s plane was on the ground already. But he wasn’t there.
We had been hoping to get him out before she arrived, just to avoid too much traffic. They [their planes] were 75 yards apart. We have a procedure we do to clear [space for] a motorcade. As we were ready to receive her, I saw the other motorcade coming in—we were like, ‘great timing'."
The source went on to add that Clinton was also the one to initiate the meeting aboard Lynch's private jet, which he allegedly did by simply “walking over” to her plane.
"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 h*ll'."
The meeting remained a secret until Wednesday. Then the story quickly created a backlash for both the Clintons and Lynch, given the ongoing criminal probe surrounding Hillary Clinton's email usage while at the State Department.
Both Hillary Clinton and Lynch have repeatedly said that the investigation was not discussed aboard the airplane, however not everyone — including presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump — is convinced that was the case.
The airplane conversation also led to a series of important advancements with the case in recent days. On Friday, Lynch announced that she would accept the prosecutors' recommendations for charges in the case. And Clinton herself took part in a “voluntary interview” at the Federal Bureau of Investigation's headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.