“How Many Times Do I Have To Say It, Chris?”: Fox Can't Take Yes For An Answer On Clinton Emails
Fox's Chris Wallace Repeatedly Interrupts Obama Demanding “Guarantee” Of Evidence-Based Email Investigation
From the April 10 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): Last October, you said that Hillary Clinton's private email server did not jeopardize national secrets.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.
WALLACE: Since then, we’ve learned that over 2,000 of her e-mails contained classified material, 22 of the emails had top secret information. Can you still say flatly that she did not jeopardize America's secrets?
OBAMA: I've got to be careful because, as you know, there have been investigations, there are hearings, Congress is looking at this. And I haven't been sorting through each and every aspect of this. Here's what I know. Hillary Clinton was an outstanding secretary of state. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy. And what I also know, because I handle a lot of classified information, is that there are -- there's classified, and then there's classified. There's stuff that is really “top secret” top secret, and there is stuff that is being presented to the president or the secretary of state that you might not want on the transom, or going out over the wire, but is basically stuff that you can get in open source.
WALLACE: But last October, you were prepared to say she hadn't jeopardized. And the question is, can you still say that?
OBAMA: Well, I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America's national security. Now, what I've also said is that -- and she's acknowledged -- that there's a carelessness in terms of managing emails that she has owned. And she recognizes. But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective. This is somebody who had served has 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 emails, that that detracted from her excellent ability to carry out her duties.
WALLACE: Mr. President, when you say what you’ve just said, when Josh Earnest said as he did, your spokesman, in January, the information from the Justice Department is she's not a target, some people, I think, are worried whether or not the decision, whether or not -- how to handle the case -- will be made on political grounds, not legal grounds. Can you guarantee to the American people, can you direct the Justice Department to say, Hillary Clinton will be treated as the evidence goes, she will not be, in any way, protected?
OBAMA: I can guarantee that. And I can guarantee that not because I give Attorney General Lynch a directive, that is institutionally how we have always operated. 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. Previous presidents --
WALLACE: So, just to button this up --
OBAMA: I guarantee it. 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.
WALLACE: And she will be treat no differently?
OBAMA: Guaranteed, full stop. Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department, because nobody is above the law.
WALLACE: Even if she ends up as the Democratic nominee?
OBAMA: How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed.
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