President Obama repeatedly vowed there would be no political influence over the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state — in a wide-ranging interview with “Fox News Sunday” in which he also ardently defended his efforts to defeat the Islamic State and other terror groups amid criticism about his perceived indifference.
“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,” Obama told “Fox News Sunday.” “Nobody is above the law. How many times do I have to say it?”
His remarks came less than three months after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest publicly downplayed a possible indictment for Clinton.
Obama praised Clinton’s tenure running the State Department from 2009 to 2013 and said he still doesn’t think the emails to and from her private server breached national security.
However, he acknowledged, as Clinton has done, that her using the private server was not a good idea, in part after revelations that roughly 2,000 of the emails included classified information.
“There’s carelessness in terms of managing emails, that she has owned, and she recognizes,” Obama told Fox News’ Chris Wallace, in his first interview with Fox News since 2008.
In the wide-ranging interview taped Friday, Obama defended efforts to stop the growing international terror threat and his response to terrorists.
“My No. 1 job is to protect the American people,” he said. “My No. 1 priority right now is defeating ISIL (the Islamic State.) … I’m the guy who calls the families, or meets with them, or hugs them, or tries to comfort a mom, or a dad, or a husband, or a kid, after a terrorist attack. So let’s be very clear about how much I prioritize this: This is my No. 1 job.”
Obama also defended his actions after several deadly attacks, including playing a round of golf after American James Foley was beheaded and going to a baseball game in Cuba after the Brussels terror bombings last month, for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
“In the wake of terrorist attacks, it has been my view consistently that the job of the terrorists, in their minds, is to induce panic, induce fear, get societies to change who they are. And what I’ve tried to communicate is, “You can’t change us. You can kill some of us, but we will hunt you down, and we will get you.
“And in the meantime, just as we did in Boston, after the marathon bombing, we’re going to go to a ballgame. And do all the other things that make our life worthwhile. … That’s the message of resilience. That we don’t panic, that we don’t fear, we will hunt you down and we will get you.”
The president also dug in on his position that the GOP-controlled Senate should vote on whether to confirm his nomination to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland.
He argued lawmakers have a constitutional responsibility and suggested that Garland would pass the confirmation process.
“I think that if they go through the process, they won’t have a rationale to defeat him,” Obama said.
The president nevertheless acknowledged that congressional Republicans are in a tough election-year position, considering he’s out of office in about nine months, with the possibility the next president could be a Republican who will make his own nomination.
No political influence, that’s what Obama says now but he also said nobody is above the law yet still cut Eric Holder a pass on the Fast & Furious scandal. I do not trust this man and I honestly believe Hillary will get a nice shiny get out of jail free card if indictment is recommended. He has made it a point to skirt the law as often as possible via executive order. He never attempted to take a balanced approach with Republicans and Democrats. He hung tight for the Dems and demonized the right almost from day one. So please excuse me if I don’t feel his vow carries a lot of weight because we have seen his politics now for close to eight years he is not known for putting America first. I read the other day a former Black Panther was hammering Obama for dividing the people. He has had ample opportunities to do good and continually falls back to the hard left mantra Perhaps his greatest downfall is his inability to understand his own prejudices and acknowledge his job should have been tempered with balance and a willingness to genuinely work with both sides of the aisle. He could have done great things possibly but now we will never know anything but what his tattered legacy reveals as time goes by.
Signing off but never tapping out! God bless America