An exclusive interview with a security person in Phoenix has shed light on how the secret meeting Monday between Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch really came to be.
According to the Observer, the source is an experienced security person who has provided security to government officials for years. The source was in Phoenix and witnessed first-hand what happened, and spoke to the Observer on condition of anonymity.
The source confirmed that the attorney general was caught completely off guard, and that it was actually Clinton who instigated the meeting, much to the bewilderment of FBI and Secret Service members on both teams.
The source stated, “Fair is fair. I’m a conservative-leaning person. I don’t support anything this administration does. I don’t know much about the attorney general’s past, except she has a good reputation. But I really don’t like this executive’s office, so that said, politically, that’s where I’m at. But I just happened to be in a position to know firsthand what went down that day.”
The source explained that the FBI protects the attorney general, while the Secret Service Agency protects the President and former presidents.
According to the source, “The AG and the director each have a protective detail because they travel extensively and that duty falls to the FBI. They have a formalized unit, a detail, that lives and works out of Washington, D.C. Then there will be FBI leaders who are experts in other towns and regions who coordinate visits—someone in Chicago FBI will coordinate with the D.C. detail when the director or the AG comes to Chicago. So what happened here is that the FBI agents in Phoenix were in touch with the detail leaders in D.C. for the AG’s visit. Somebody from D.C. will advance the trip and liaise with the local element, who has a big SWAT team and provide everything they need so they can send only a skeletal unit with her, two people—a medic and protection. They don’t need to commit 27 people. Details include surveilling all the locations, the routes, the hospitals, safe zones; that’s all handled by [the local FBI people] [actual words redacted to avoid identifying source].”
The FBI agents knew both dignitaries were scheduled to be at the airport near the same time period, and due to the congestion it would cause for security, they were hoping to get Clinton’s plane out before hers arrived, to avoid having two motorcades on the tarmac at the same time, but his motorcade was late returning.
Lynch’s plane arrived, and parked just 75 yards from Clinton’s, then Clinton’s motorcade came in. The source speculates that Clinton engineered the delay on purpose. Clinton walked over and went straight to her plane and up the steps, walking right past the Air Force airman standing at the base of the stairs of Lynch’s aircraft, and on into the plane. The source said even her security has no authority to tell him, “You can’t do that.”
Clinton was in the plane for 20 to 25 minutes, and the source said the FBI security and Secret Service security from both teams were left standing on the hot tarmac chatting, bewildered by what just happened.
The source told the Observer, “I didn’t think of the political ramifications, just the timing, ’cause we had other things to do. He [Clinton] came off and shook the hands of the heads of Lynch’s detail. Then her detail finally got her off the plane, now much delayed, and departed for her day’s events. She had a series of visits planned for Tuesday.”
However, the source said Lynch’s staff realized this would be a political problem, and they were “flipping out.” After Clinton got off the plane, they said, “That wasn’t good.”
The source continued, “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.”
Still not known is the actual conversation that occurred inside the plane.