If you snag an interview with the hottest political star on the planet, especially one who generally shuns the press, it’s natural that you’d want to brag about it. But it’s maybe not a good idea to blow the lid off an otherwise private meeting with the president of the United States.
Yet that’s exactly what happened Thursday afternoon when People magazine tweeted, from its official account, a photo of reporter Sandra Westfall posing with the former first lady “before her mtg at the WH.” “Hope we didn’t make her late for @barackobama!,” the tweet continued. Three minutes the later, the missive was unceremoniously deleted. (Screengrab here.)
Asked about the tweet, a senior White House official told reporters, “The president enjoyed an informal, private lunch with Secretary Clinton at the White House this afternoon.” At least it was private.
A spokesperson for Clinton, when asked about the photo People “accidentally” tweeted, responded: “Accidentally? Did they drop an iPad or something? Going to defer to our colleagues at the WH on questions about the president’s schedule.”
One can only speculate about what the two discussed, as we probably won’t get any kind of a readout of the meeting. The two regularly had lunch when Clinton served as secretary of State.
Obama this week presented his foreign policy vision during a speech at West Point, which emphasized a cautious approach to foreign military intervention. Clinton was typically one of the more hawkish members of Obama’s Cabinet. The Obama administration is also planning to roll out Monday new carbon regulations, a key piece of his presidential legacy.
White House pool reporter Steve Dennis of CQ RollCall said he lodged a complaint about the lack of transparency surrounding the meeting, as the lunch was not on the president’s public schedule.