Obama’s Secret Lunch With Hillary Clinton

Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:34pm

I was about to leave the White House after a ho-hum day as pool reporter Thursday when Yahoo’s Olivier Knox noticed a tweet from People Magazine indicating Hillary Rodham Clinton had met with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Knox — a member of the group of White House scribes who toil mostly without sunlight in the press quarters in the basement — suggested I look at his Twitter feed.  

A secret meeting between the president and the woman currently favored in the polls to succeed him?  

Would the White House that brags about its transparency really try to keep such a lunch secret?  

Yup. I sought to confirm — along with the rest of the White House press corps.  

“The President enjoyed an informal, private lunch with Secretary Clinton at the White House this afternoon,” a White House official said belatedly and on background in response.  

I also sent a complaint to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the lack of transparency by the White House regarding the lunch.  

I noted that on July 29, 2013, Obama and Clinton had another private lunch and it was included on the public schedule. A private lunch with Mitt Romney in 2012 was also on the public schedule.  

There’s no reason why this lunch shouldn’t have been on the public schedule either, at a minimum.  

(The press corps has also been pushing for more access, including opportunities for news photographers and the pool to have the opportunity to witness newsworthy events and ask questions.)