President Obama is quizzed about the investigation by the FBI Justice Department into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server and non-government e-mail address by FOX News’ Chris Wallace on this week’s edition of FOX News Sunday. In the interview, Wallace confronted Obama if he can still say flatly that Clinton did not jeopardize America’s secrets. Obama also guaranteed politics will not influence the outcome of the investigation.
Obama contended she did not jeopardize America’s national security, however was “careless” in terms of managing e-mails that she has owned. Obama said the scandal needs to be put in “perspective” as Clinton “served her country” and did an outstanding job.
“Here’s what I know,” Obama told Wallace. “Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy.”
“You were prepared to say she didn’t jeopardize,” Chris Wallace said.
“I continue to believe she has not jeopardized America’s national security,” Obama defended Clinton. “Now what I also said is that — and she’s acknowledged — that there’s a carelessness in terms of managing e-mails that she has owned. And she recognizes that. But I also think is important to keep this in perspective. This is somebody who served her country for four years as Secretary of State and did an outstanding job and no one has suggested that in some ways as a consequence of how she’s handled e-mails that that detracted from her excellent ability to carry out her duties.”
Chris Wallace grilled Obama to guarantee the decision made by the Justice Department will be made on legal grounds and not political grounds.
“Some people, I think, are worried whether or not the decision whether or not how to handle the was will be made on political grounds and not legal grounds. Can you guarantee to the American people? Can you direct the Justice Department to say, Hillary Clinton will be treated as the evidence goes, she’ll not be in any way protected?”
“I can guarantee,” Obama promised. “I can guarantee that not because I give Attorney General [Loretta] Lynch a directive, that is institutionally how we have always operated. I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it.”
“I guarantee it. I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Period,” Obama made clear.
“Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department because nobody is above the law,” the president added.
“Even if she ends up as the Democratic nominee?” Wallace asked.
“How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed,” said Obama.
Watch President Obama’s full interview with Chris Wallace: