President Obama sat down with Chris Wallace Sunday for his first interview on Fox News Channel since 2014, and his first appearance on Fox News Sunday since being elected president.
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview, Wallace asked Obama about his stance on the federal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, and in particular whether it has changed at all since last year.
Obama had said last October that America’s national security was not “endangered” by his former Secretary of State’s private email server.
“Since then, we’ve learned that over 2,000 of her e-mails contained classified material, 22 of the e-mails had top-secret information,” said Wallace. “Can you still say flatly that she did not jeopardize America’s secrets?”
“Here’s what I know: Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy.”
Asked by Wallace whether he would still make the same statement, Obama said he believes that there was “a carelessness” in the way Clinton managed her emails.
But “she has acknowledged” that, he added.
“I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security.”
How many times have we heard government officials refuse to answer questions about ongoing investigations? Hundreds of times. Repeating that phrase is their go-to answer any time they want to avoid an uncomfortable question. The president should have refused to answer any and all questions regarding Hillary’s emails. By responding to Wallace’s questions, he just put a defensive slant on the issue and used his office to indirectly influence decisions regarding this case.
Further, I take issue with Chris Wallace for even asking O about it. He’s been a journalist for many years and knows the unwritten rule regarding open investigations, but went there anyway. He had to know that O would defend her and he opened the door for this.
Bob Woodward, famed Watergate investigator, also appeared on Fox News Sunday – here’s an excerpt from that interview:
Chris Wallace: Let me pick up on the fact that president even discussed it. I remember when Richard Nixon was president, I think he weighed in on the Manson case, and he got blasted about speaking and of course, he didn’t have any relationship to the Manson family. What do you think of the propriety of the president weighing in like this in the midst of an FBI investigation?
Bob Woodward: Well, it proves that we’re in a political situation here now. Hillary Clinton is running for president. There have been lots of questions. I think serious, unanswered questions about the e-mail. But if you can establish there was no intent and there is carelessness in the system-
Chris Wallace: What about the president weighing in?
Bob Woodward: Look, he’s a political figure and that’s up to him. Karl made the critique, I think, you know, always better in a case like this, with a sensitive case, it’s a hot stove, don’t touch it. He not only touched it, he put his arms around it.
Fox likes to brag that they ask the tough questions, but there are some questions that should remain unasked.