The White House is responding to FBI Director James Comey's Friday decision to reopen the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email arrangement after new information relevant to the case was discovered on a computer belonging to former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Citing his lack of independent knowledge of why or how the decision was made by Comey to inform Congress of recent developments, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said cannot "defend or criticize" the actions and reminded reporters of the respect Comey holds from leaders in both political parties.
"I will neither defend nor criticize what Director Comey has decided to communicate to the public about this investigation," Earnest said. "The President believes Director Comey is a man of integrity, he's a man of principle and he's a man of good character. That is presumably the reason why President Bush chose him to serve at a senior position in the Bush administration's Department of Justice. These same character traits are what led a strong majority of Democrats and Republican Senators to confirm him to this job. These are the traits that led the President to select him to be the Director of the FBI and these are tough questions so it's a good thing he's a man of integrity and character to take them on."
"The President doesn’t believe Director Comey is trying to influence the outcome of an election,” he continued. "The President does not believe that he is secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party."
Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who has been endorsed by President Obama, has been openly attacking Comey on the campaign trail. Democrats who praised Comey's decision not to indict Clinton in July are also at his throat and accusing him of deliberately trying to influence the election.
This post has been updated with additional information.