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White House Spox on Clinton-Lynch Confab: ‘I Wasn’t There for the Meeting’

Fans of the Hillary Clinton “Emailgate” story got a brontosaurus-sized bone to chew on Tuesday when it was reported that Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton for about 30 minutes aboard a private plane at an airport in Phoenix. The meeting has drawn criticism from some as a bad look for an administration whose opponents have tried to question the independence of its Justice Department’s investigation into email practices during Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.

At Wednesday’s White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked to respond to the criticism, and for his opening gambit, took reporters on a minutes-long hike through Boilerplate Forrest that included everything but the kitchen sink, or a discernible response:

On follow-up, Earnest settled on what would become the basis for the rest of his responses to the question:

Well, I wasn’t there for the meeting, but the Attorney General was. She was asked a direct question about it, and she answered it. So, again, I think that’s consistent with everybody’s expectations.

Attorney General Lynch has denied ever speaking to President Obama about the matter, and told reporters on Tuesday that her meeting with President Clinton “was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix.”

The upshot of the White House’s response appears to be that Attorney General Lynch’s word is good enough for them, and based on her record, ought to be good enough for everyone else. When pressed on the issue later in the briefing, Earnest told CNN’s Michelle Kosinski that he has not spoken with President Obama about the meeting.

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