Interviewed on 60 Minutes Sunday Night President Obama made a surprising statement about Hillary Clinton’s emails and national security:
“I think she’d be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. I don’t think it posed a national security problem. It was a mistake that she has acknowledged.”
Was he hinting at an FBI decision? Or was he going to direct a decision? After all the Obama administration has prosecuted many people (including Gen. Petraeus) for the same type of violations.
Today at the White House Daily briefing Josh Earnest was asked about the president’s statement and he took one giant step backwards away from Obama’s statement:
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But asked how the President was able to make such a definitive statement even as the FBI is looking into the server’s security, White House press secretary Josh Earnest clarified that Obama’s statement was made “based on what we publicly know now.”
“The President was making an observation about what we know so far, which is that Secretary Clinton herself has turned over a bunch of email to the State Department, and the review of that email has garnered some differing assessments about what’s included in there,” Earnest said.
The President’s comment was “certainly was not an attempt, in any way, to undermine the importance or independence of the ongoing FBI investigation,” Earnest said, stressing that Obama “has a healthy respect for the kinds of independent investigations that are conducted by inspectors general and, where necessary, by the FBI.”
The Justice Department is looking into how the information on Clinton’s server was handled, and Clinton’s aides have turned the server over to the FBI as part of that probe.
The intelligence community and State Department inspectors general revealed in July that some of Clinton’s emails contained classified information that was not identified correctly, but State Department officials maintain the information was not classified at the time it was sent.
Actually there were at least two emails that were deemed top secret before they appeared on Clinton’s server, and intelligence is worried that there may be hundreds more. And many of those emails that were labeled classified AFTER Clinton sent them, should have been labeled classified by her State Department before she sent them. As Secretary of State, she should have known the difference.