Obama Critical of FBI Director: ‘We don’t operate on innuendo’

November 2, 2016 1:37 pm Last Updated: November 2, 2016 2:40 pm

President Barack Obama criticized FBI director James Comey on Tuesday for sending a letter to Congress about the reopening of an investigation into new emails linked to the Hillary Clinton email server case.

“We don’t operate on incomplete information,” Obama told NowThis News, broadcast on Wednesday. “We don’t operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made.”

Obama didn’t mention Comey by name, but it was clear that he was referring to him.

“When this was investigated thoroughly the last time, the conclusion of the FBI, the conclusion of the Justice Department, the conclusion of repeated congressional investigations was that she had made some mistakes but that there wasn’t anything there that was prosecutable,” Obama said.

His remarks on Tuesday were the first to Comey and the FBI’s recent moves. The remarks, however, contravened what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday, saying that he wouldn’t criticize Comey’s decision. Earnest also noted that the White House doesn’t have an official position on Comey.

Obama also gave a strong endorsement of Clinton. 

“Obviously it’s become a political controversy. You know, the fact of the matter is that Hillary Clinton, having been in the arena for 30 years, oftentimes gets knocked around, and people say crazy stuff about her, and when she makes a mistake, an honest mistake, it gets blown up as if it’s some crazy thing,” Obama said. “So I understand why if you’re voting for the first time, or even the second time, all that noise coming at you, you think, there’s something I need to be concerned about.”

Comey was ripped by former attorney generals Alberto Gonzales, Eric Holder, and Michael Mukasey over the move.

On Monday, the FBI also tweeted documents pertaining to its investigation of Bill Clinton’s last-minute pardon of Marc Rich, the husband of a prominent Democratic donor, 15 years ago.