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.
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"Wikileaks published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Democratic National Committee Friday, just days before the start of the party's convention in Philadelphia. The documents included briefings on off-the-record fundraisers and candid photographs."
Hillary Clinton "is widely expected to announce her choice" of vice president "in an email to supporters while on a campaign swing in Florida on Friday afternoon." The consensus: it'll be Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, although Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also said to be in the running.
- A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
- A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
- And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.