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Axelrod: Clinton and Lynch Exhibited ‘Poor Judgement’

• July 1, 2016 9:34 am

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President Obama's former adviser David Axelrod criticized the private meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton, saying Friday on CNN that they exhibited poor judgment.

The meeting has been widely criticized due to the Justice Department's investigation into Clinton's private email server and the appearance of impropriety. The two spoke privately on Lynch's government plane one day prior to the release of the House Benghazi Committee's report of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in 2012.

Lynch characterized the meeting as personal and stressed the two did not discuss any political matters.

CNN's hosts Alisyn Camerota and Jim Sciutto questioned Axelrod about the optics and sentiment of the meeting between the Attorney General and Clinton.

"Bill Clinton is a seasoned politician with a lot of experience, he knows this investigation is going on. What was he thinking?" Sciutto asked.

"That sounds like a rhetorical question, Jim,"Axelrod said. "I don't think he was thinking and I think that the attorney general made a mistake as well. I absolutely take her at her word. I'm sure they weren't talking about the case but each of them is sophisticated enough to know that such a meeting would raise eyebrows."

"Was former President Clinton not thinking or was this sort of a charm offensive? That is, he goes over there and makes nice and they talk about his grandchildren, then it's certainly harder to indict his wife," Camerota asked.

"I would feel maybe a little bit more that way if not for decades of experience with Bill Clinton, who does that with everybody. He is the most ebullient character you can find. He is on a permanent charm campaign with everybody he meets," Axelrod said. "That's who Bill Clinton is, it's just that he should have exercised some restraint or someone traveling with him should have said, Mr. President, maybe we should just say hello and move on."

"The fact that a quick hello turned into a 30-minute conversation is also, characteristic of Bill Clinton, who is a garrulous character, so I don't impute too much to it but I do think it was bad judgment on both their parts."