Fox News Sunday Hits Obama For Answering Host's Repeated Questions About Clinton Email Investigation

Fox's Karl Rove Revives New Black Panther Myth, IRS Scandal As Proof That Justice Department Is Politicized

From the April 10 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday (emphasis added): 

Video file

CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): Karl, I want to start by -- with the president's comments about Hillary Clinton. I've got to say, I was surprised that he even got into this, given the investigation. But he wanted to basically to defend her again, against the allegation that she somehow jeopardized national security with her private e-mails, her private email server. And at the same time, he said this investigation by the FBI, the disposition by the Justice Department will be made on legal grounds, not political. Do you see a contradiction there?

KARL ROVE: Yeah, I do. He should have stepped away from this and not commented on it. But he did. He was offering the first defense of Hillary Clinton. It was unintentional, and it really wasn't important information. Cause as you know, there is classified, and then there is classified. It was really inappropriate, I think, for the chief executive of the United States to comment on an ongoing FBI investigation. Secondly, I don't feel particularly comforted by his followup which was: of courses it's not going to be political, because that's not how the Justice Department operates. Well, the American people have a great deal of concern about how this particular administration's Justice Department operates. After all, Lois Lerner is out there free and clear after clearly abusing her powers at the IRS. And this administration, as you recall, started off by dropping the investigation and charges that had been filed against the Black Panther Party, which was on videotape harassing voters at the polls in Philadelphia in 2008. And it was all political. So the president may have tried -- wanted to sort of reassure the American people it would be all done on the up and up. But this administration needs to understand they're not starting from a position where people assume that's what's going to happen.


WALLACE: [W]hat do you think of the president weighing in on this case while the FBI is still investigating?

BOB WOODWARD: Well, it's a headline, because he is anticipating the defense, where he said it is unintentional. To establish that there was a crime here, one of the elements is intent. And as best I can tell no one is saying she intentionally put out this material. Also President Obama said, look this is carelessness. I understand that what they're going to be able to say is no crime because there was no intent. Yep, the system broke down. If you talk to people in the White House, State Department, Pentagon, they all send these classified messages around. It's the way of doing business. Their argument is, hey, I'm over in the Middle East so I need to do this. So, there's news here and I think it's going to -- this is what we're going to see. Oh, big mistake, carelessness, no intent.

WALLACE: But let me pick up on the fact that the president even discussed it. I remember when Richard Nixon was president, he weighed in on the Mason 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?

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 email here. But if you can establish there was no intent, and there is carelessness in the system --

WALLACE: But you’re trying to duck my question. What about the president weighing in?

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.

WALLACE: George, your reaction to his comments?

GEORGE WILL: Well, it was on Fox News Channel in the midst of what was supposed to be a Justice Department investigation of Lois Lerner and the IRS that the president said -- prejudging the whole process -- there is not a smidgen of evidence of a scandal at the IRS. Now, we know that the Justice Department investigation was a sham, it was part of the cover-up, they gave the investigation to an Obama contributor working in the Justice Department. But his whole approach to this is a train wreck of non sequiturs. First, he said well she didn't do anything wrong because she was a good secretary of state. Then he said she didn't do anything intentionally wrong, whereas negligence, which is not intentionally doing something wrong, but doing something wrong anyway, is the heart of this. Then he went off on a tangent about overclassification, he said, well some of these might have been open source documents rather than -- she could have got elsewhere, our enemies could have got elsewhere. Finally, then he says I've got to be careful about this, which brings us back to the IRS and Lois Lerner. He is selectively careful about his intervention in these.


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