The Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton did not “jeopardise” national security, but was “careless” in managing her emails when she was Secretary of State, the US President Barack Obama said today as he promised an independent probe in the controversy.
“I continue to believe that she has not jeopardised America’s national security. Now what I’ve also said is that -- and she has acknowledged—that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing e-mails, that she has owned, and she recognises,” Obama told Fox News in an interview.
Obama was responding to a question on an ongoing FBI probe into the emails and private email server which Clinton hosted at her home when she served as the Secretary of State in the first term of Obama Administration.
The issue is being used by Clinton’s opponents and Republican Party as a key tool against her in this election cycle.
Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, is eyeing to become the first woman president of the US after Obama leaves office in January.
Defending Clinton, the US president said: “I also think it is important to keep this in perspective. This is somebody who has served her country for four years as Secretary of State, and did an outstanding job. And no one has suggested that in some ways, as a consequence of how she’s handled e-mails, that detracted from her excellent ability to carry out her duties.”
Promising an independent probe, Obama said he has not talked with his officials on this as he does not want to interfere in the investigation.
“I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line, and always have maintained it,” he said.
“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case. Full stop. Period,” he said.
“Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department, because nobody is above the law,” he said.
In her defence, Clinton has said that none of the emails sent over her private server were classified at the time and she has already handed the State Department 52,000 pages of documents relating to her correspondence as US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.