Obama clueless, not briefed on FBI's Clinton probe
President Obama does not receive briefings about the FBI’s investigation into the personal email setup Hillary Clinton used as secretary of State, bureau Director James Comey said on Wednesday.
As a result, Obama should have no way of knowing how the inquiry is proceeding, Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee, despite the president’s apparent dismissal of concerns about impropriety.
The FBI’s examination of Clinton’s server, which held her private email account and has drawn intense criticism from Republicans and transparency advocates, has put the FBI in a tight spot.
In response, Comey has repeatedly attempted to shoot down concerns about political motivation in his bureau’s probe and fears that investigators will undermine evidence against Clinton or another Obama administration official.
“I hope the American people know the FBI well enough and the nature and character of this organization,” Comey told the Senate panel on Wednesday.
“As I’ve said many times, we don’t give a rip about politics,” he added. “We care about finding out what is true and doing that in a competent, honest and independent way. I promise you that’s the way we conduct ourselves.”
Conservatives expressed worry in October when Obama said that Clinton had made “a mistake” by using the private email address throughout her time at the State Department but that the behavior did not compromise official secrets.
“I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered,” Obama told CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
According to reports, Obama’s comments upset some FBI officials, who worried that it amounted to meddling in their investigation.