Obama took a sharper tone than his press secretary, Josh Earnest, who said Tuesday that the White House did not have an official position on whether the decision by the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, to alert Congress about the FBI's pending analysis of a new cache of emails related to the use by Clinton of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
President Barack Obama criticized FBI Director James Comey's decision Friday to publicly disclose the FBI's renewed interest in Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server so close to an election. His announcement 11 days before the November 8 election drew outrage from Democrats and others who believed it would unfairly influence the vote.The decision flouted longstanding FBI traditions of keeping investigations confidential and avoiding politically sensitive announcements close to a presidential election.
"I think the equivalent will be 'she's exhausted, she's moody, she's being emotional, '" Obama said in the interview with Bee, which was taped last week.
Weiner is under investigation for allegedly sending explicit images to an underage girl. "We operate based on concrete decisions that are made", Obama said in an interview with NowThis News, broadcast online Wednesday. Comey's letter shed no light on whether investigators were likely to actually turn up anything of note.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are now sifting through the Abedin emails found on Weiner's computer. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama was merely pointing out that if facts are released before an investigation is completed, "that could lead to public speculation or innuendo".
The White House insisted that Obama comments shouldn't be construed as pertaining to Clinton's case, even though they came in response to a direct question about Comey and the Clinton emails.
Obama stressed that earlier investigations by the FBI, Justice Department and Congress concluded that Clinton made some mistakes but there wasn't anything prosecutable.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said he "couldn't take the heat" from Republicans when the emails were discovered in separate investigation into former US congressman Anthony Weiner, the husband of close Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
In the closing days of the race, there also has been speculation and contradictory reports about whether the FBI is investigating Donald Trump's possible connections with Russian Federation.