President Obama on FBI re-opening Clinton email investigation: “We don’t operate on leaks”

In an interview with NowThis released Wednesday, President Obama had a lot to say about FBI Director James Comey’s actions and decision to alert Congress about new developments in the Hillary Clinton email server case, all of which he discussed without even mentioning Comey by name. As it turns out, the “new developments” in Emailgate pertained more to an investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal allegedly involving a minor.

First offering a disclaimer that he was making “a very deliberate effort” to make sure he didn’t appear to be “meddling in what are supposed to be independent processes for making these assessments,” Obama went on to voice his criticisms of the manner in which the Clinton email investigation was (and is still being) handled. “We don’t operate on incomplete information,” Obama said. “We don’t operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made.”

Comey’s decision to announce the renewed probe into Clinton’s emails, primarily to investigate Weiner, with a dramatic letter to Congress was deemed by many, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, to be a political act. It was also potentially in violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits partisan behavior from government officials, including the director of the FBI.

The FBI’s announcement has been interpreted by many as a direct attack on Clinton’s presidential campaign because it’s so close to the election, as sources note numerous FBI agents were sitting on the information for a substantial amount of time before coming forward and the fact that the FBI continues to withhold potentially damning information about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

Others argue the real issue lay in how the media responded to Comey’s letter to Congress, namely the rapid spread of misleading headlines failing to identify the renewed scandal as a result of the investigation of Weiner.

To Obama, the Clinton email server case involves mistakes on Clinton’s end, but they’re what he identifies as “honest” mistakes made by a long-time public servant with a strong record on the issues that progressive millennials care deeply about. “When this was investigated thoroughly the last time, the conclusion of the FBI, the conclusion of the Justice Department, the conclusion of repeated congressional investigations was that she had made some mistakes but that there wasn’t anything there that was prosecutable,” Obama said.

He has consistently affirmed that Clinton’s email server never constituted a national security threat, and amidst renewed controversy surrounding the emails, it appears he hasn’t changed his mind.