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Interviews

DeSantis: Lynch-Clinton meeting 'not the right decision'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 1, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)    

QUESTION:  What didn't Eric Holder tell you about this job?

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION:  What's the one thing you wish he had told you?  

(LAUGHTER)

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Where the lock on the plane door was?

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDRA SMITH, GUEST HOST:   All right, well, Attorney General Loretta Lynch may be trying to laugh it off, but the uproar over her meeting with Bill Clinton is no joke.  

The attorney general today refusing to recuse herself from the Clinton e- mail case, despite her private 30-minute meeting with former President Bill Clinton.  

Florida Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

There's always been an appearance of conflict of interests here.  And a special counsel was urged long ago.  It appears after that meeting it's even more needed.  What is your take?  

REP. RON DESANTIS, R-FLORIDA:  Oh, absolutely.  

I have been calling for special counsel for months now.  It may be too late, given the election is coming up.  But she had a conflict with Bill Clinton even before the meeting, because Clinton appointed her U.S. attorney in Brooklyn in the '90s.  That's a major appointment.  

The idea that she is just going to indict the guy's wife after he gave her such an honor, I thought that created the appearance of a conflict.  And then of course you have President Obama, her current boss, has said over and over again there's nothing to see here, Hillary didn't damage national security.

And now you do this 30-minute meeting in private.  They told the FBI not to bring any phones or recording devices.  That is absolutely outrageous that she would have done that.  That clearly creates an appearance of impropriety.  And the American people are just not going to have confidence in whatever decision is ultimately rendered.  

SMITH:  On one hand, it's easy to make the case that, well, here she was, her plane lands, and she hears that former President Bill Clinton would like to speak with her, and naturally it sounds like, OK, well, then I should -- we will have a conversation.  

However, her judgment is being called into question for obvious reasons that you are stating.  Shouldn't an attorney general just have better judgment when it comes to something like that, plain and simple?  

DESANTIS:  Absolutely.  

And you notice this came out because she was asked about it by a reporter. She didn't volunteer that this meeting had happened.  And, in fact, she didn't necessarily want it to be made public, based on how the FBI acted.  

So this was not the right decision to make.  And we have had questions about whether this decision was going to be above-board or whether the fix is in for months now, and then to go ahead with that meeting with President Clinton, look, if the FBI recommends a case and she doesn't go ahead with it, the cloud that is going to hang over Hillary Clinton is going to be so dark, and it's going to be an absolute earthquake in this election.  

SMITH:  Is this a major turning point in the campaign for her?  

DESANTIS:  Well, I think we will have to see what FBI Director Comey recommends.  That's going to be the million-dollar question.  

I think, at this point, given what Lynch has done, given the other conflicts that we have identified, if Comey recommends this, and they do have the goods on Secretary Clinton, and we can point to people who have done less and have been prosecuted, and then she gets off, I think that that's just going to be a major, major item.  

I think it will totally upend the presidential campaign.  Here's the thing. As a Republican, I would rather the case be dealt with on the merits.  She is probably the weakest candidate they can run, so getting her indicted may be bad for the party, but it's the right thing to do if she's guilty.  

SMITH:  Well, on this network and other networks and publications all over today, it was even hard for a lot of Democrats to defend this.  It just didn't look very good.  

All right, Congressman Ron DeSantis, thank you.  

DESANTIS:  Thanks.

END

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