President Obama is guaranteeing that evidence, not politics, will dictate the outcome of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's handling of emails as secretary of state. Obama's comments came on Fox News Sunday, his first appearance as president. Obama said he believes Clinton didn't jeopardize America's national security with her private email server, but he added that "there's a carelessness in terms of managing emails" that she has recognized. Obama said no one has suggested that Clinton's handling of government emails detracted in any way "from her excellent ability to carry out her duties." When asked specifically whether he can guarantee that Clinton will "not be in any way protected" during the course of the investigation, Obama said he maintains a strict line about not talking to FBI directors about pending investigations.
"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 said. Other highlights from the interview, per the AP:
- On Merrick Garland's nomination: Obama said he will stick with him through the end of his term. "What I think we can't have, is a situation in which the Republican Senate simply says, 'Because it's a Democratic president, we are not going to do our job, have hearings, and have a vote.' "
- On terrorism: Obama doesn't think Americans have made too much of the threat of terrorist attack. He also said he hasn't let acts of terror disrupt some of his regular activities because it's important to communicate a message of resilience and "that we don't panic, that we don't fear."
- On what he most looks forward to when leaving office: "Being able to take a walk outside."
- On his best and worst day in office. Obama said the best was the day health insurance reform passed; the worst was the day he traveled to Newtown, Conn., after the massacre at Sandy Hook.