President Barack Obama on Wednesday appeared to criticize FBI Director James Comey’s decision to announce the discovery of emails that “appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
In an interview with NowThis News, Obama said that “there is a norm that when there are investigations we don’t operate on innuendo, we don’t operate on incomplete information, we don’t operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made.”
Obama also said he has “made a very deliberate effort” to avoid the appearance of meddling in government agencies’ independent processes.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest had said Monday that he would “neither defend nor criticize” Comey’s actions.
Politicians from across the spectrum, including past attorneys general in the Bush and Obama administrations, conservative Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chair of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, have questioned Comey’s decision to send the vague letter, including his breaking with a tradition of not announcing politically sensitive details of ongoing investigations within 60 days of an election.
In his Friday letter to various chairmen of House committees, Comey noted “we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails.”