President Obama sat down with CBS News’ Steve Kroft, where the issue of Hillary’s email was brought up. The president walked a somewhat waffled line in the interview, where he said it was a “legitimate” issue, but also said that it’s being politicized due to the campaign season. Obama also said he didn’t know about Clinton’s private email server, and when pressed if whether he felt it was a big deal; the president deflected, saying it’s better for Hillary to answer these questions. He also said the server didn’t pose a national security problem (via CBS News):
Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton's use of private email server--Okay; for starters, it did pose a national security problem, as China, South Korea, and Germany tried to hack into her private email system. Even Russian-linked hackers tried five times to gain access into her server. A system that she said didn’t have classified information on it, which we all know turned out to be a lie, though her campaign says they were retroactively declared classified (yeah, nice try). Second, as Allahpundit pointed out many moons ago, didn’t the White House admit that Obama knew about Hillary’s private email account, and that the two sent unsecure correspondences to one another?
President Barack Obama: No.
Steve Kroft: --while she was Secretary of State?
President Barack Obama: No.
Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?
President Barack Obama: I don't think it posed a national security problem. I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and-- you know, as a general proposition, when we're in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data. And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it's been ginned-up is in part because of-- in part-- because of politics. And I think she'd be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. But--
Steve Kroft: What was your reaction when you found out about it?
President Barack Obama: This is one of those issues that I think is legitimate, but the fact that for the last three months this is all that's been spoken about is an indication that we're in presidential political season.
Steve Kroft: Do you agree with what President Clinton has said and Secretary Clinton has said, that this is not-- not that big a deal. Do you agree with that?
President Barack Obama: Well, I'm not going to comment on--
Steve Kroft: You think it's not that big a deal--
President Barack Obama: What I think is that it is important for her to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the American public. And they can make their own judgment. I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.
Steve Kroft: This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.
President Barack Obama: Well, I-- there's no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don't get an impression that here there was purposely efforts-- on-- in-- to hide something or to squirrel away information. But again, I'm gonna leave it to--
Steve Kroft: If she had come to you.
President Barack Obama: I'm going to leave it to Hillary when she has an interview with you to address all these questions.
Lastly, is the president tipping his hand already in the Democratic primaries? He gave a waffled answer on the email stuff, yes, but he also said it was a legitimate issue that Hillary will need to address. The president of the United States, and the leader for the Democratic Party, just said that the prohibitive nominee in next year’s election has a legitimate (and self-inflicted) wound from the use of this system. Yet, as Allah pointed out, it’s a bit odd that Obama said Clinton should answer these questions about her email server “to the satisfaction of the American public,” but not to him. Also, he did have this to say about Joe:
You know, I am going to let Joe make that decision. And I mean what I say. I think Joe will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history, and one of the more consequential. I think he has done great work. I don't think there's any politician at a national level that has not thought about being the president. And if you're sitting right next to the president in every meeting and, you know wrestling with these issues, I'm sure that for him he's saying to himself, "I could do a really good job."
Shorter Obama: Joe “could do a really good job” as president, and Hillary could too, I guess, but she has a “legitimate” issue to absolve with the American people about her email server–and we didn’t get the impression that she was trying to cover up anything when that classified information was found. But it’s all politics, you know.
That doesn’t sound like a shining endorsement of the former.
Full Interview here: