October 12, 2015

Obama distances himself from Hillary's email troubles.

From the transcript of last night's "60 Minutes":
Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton's use of private email server--

President Barack Obama: No.
He's quick with that "no."
Steve Kroft: --while she was Secretary of State?

President Barack Obama: No.

Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?

President Barack Obama: I don't think it posed a national security problem. I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and-- you know, as a general proposition, when we're in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data. And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it's been ginned-up is in part because of-- in part-- because of politics. And I think she'd be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. But--
The repetition of "in part" is telling. There's a criticism in there. Republicans are making too big a deal of it. But Hillary made mistakes.
Steve Kroft: What was your reaction when you found out about it?

President Barack Obama: This is one of those issues that I think is legitimate, but the fact that for the last three months this is all that's been spoken about is an indication that we're in presidential political season.
Obama did not answer the question. Kroft interrupted with a question, Obama continued answering the question he was was working on, and Kroft did not repeat the question. Obama has a packaged, distancing message, and he gets it out.
Steve Kroft: Do you agree with what President Clinton has said and Secretary Clinton has said, that this is not-- not that big a deal. Do you agree with that?
Obama has already said that the Republicans have made too big of a deal out of it, but the new question tries to eliminate the comparative. It could be a big deal but not as big a deal as the Republicans have made out of it.
President Barack Obama: Well, I'm not going to comment on--

Steve Kroft: You think it's not that big a deal--

President Barack Obama: What I think is that it is important for her to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the American public. And they can make their own judgment. I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.
More distancing. He covers the ground he could be held responsible for — America's national security — and leaves her to explain herself to the American public. The question wasn't, however, whether Hillary will persuade Americans to let her off the hook, but whether it's "that big a deal." Obama did not help her off the hook. He won't say. And the next question shows why he was smart not to let Kroft nail him down:
Steve Kroft: This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.

President Barack Obama: Well, I-- there's no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don't get an impression that here there was purposely efforts-- on-- in-- to hide something or to squirrel away information. But again, I'm gonna leave it to--
Squirrel!
Steve Kroft: If she had come to you.

President Barack Obama: I'm going to leave it to Hillary when she has an interview with you to address all these questions.
And so the deflecting of Hillary email questions skitters to an end. You got a problem with Hillary, go ask Hillary.

Fitly enough, the next question is whether he wants Joe Biden to get into the race, a question set up by an implicit dig at Hillary — "Right now, there's nobody on either side of the aisle that is exactly running on your record." Obama, continuing his evasiveness, refuses to say: It's up to Joe to decide, but what a great vice president Joe Biden has been:
I think Joe will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history, and one of the more consequential. 
Didn't every viewer make the same wisecrack we did? Finest vice president... that's not saying much!

40 comments:

damikesc said...

I'd like to know what constitutes, to him, a breach of security. Since spy satellite photos and classified info don't reach that level.

Is it only if something really makes him look bad --- at which point his DoJ will just stuff it into nothingness anyway?

lgv said...

Follow up question, "How do you know it didn't pose a national security problem?"

The Syria debacle was another interview debacle. Kroft should have countered the false choice response that is so Obama, "some people want to send in 100,000 or 200,000 troops..." Name one.

tds said...

My subordinates handled US foreign policy through an unsecured email server located in a bathroom somewhere, but what do I have to do with all of this?

tds said...

Also, I would definitely be elected again, because Chinese stealing detailed questionnaires of all US personnel with security clearances is not a big deal, lol. I will lead US through difficult times of cyberwars with Russia and China, as me running foreign policy through a bathroom email server is the best proof of my competence, lol.

damikesc said...

The Syria debacle was another interview debacle. Kroft should have countered the false choice response that is so Obama, "some people want to send in 100,000 or 200,000 troops..." Name one.

No joke. One person said that certain actions would require a military response.

That person was the dude being interviewed.

John Huynh said...

It seems like he's defending her, repeating her line she made a mistake, and also going above and beyond confirming national security was not compromised. This post is a bit cynical, eh?

Bob Boyd said...

President Barack Obama: "This is one of those issues that I think is legitimate..."

Ruh roh. Hide the lamps and ashtrays.

rehajm said...

I think Joe will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history

Finest vice president is like best surfing in Nebraska.

Sebastian said...

"More distancing"

The O MO.

It's what sociopath narcissists do.

It's all about them, except responsibility.

hawkeyedjb said...

"one of the finest vice presidents in history"

Yes. List some of his accomplishments. Right after you list some of Hillary's accomplishments.

These are accomplished people. They've managed to convince a lot of people that they're not complete hacks. That's quite an accomplishment.

BDNYC said...

Of course he's going to say our national security wasn't endangered. Presidents want to appear to be in complete control, so the American public doesn't freak out.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

How could Obama not have known she wasn't using her government email account? Are we to believe he never sent or received an email from her during her tenure as SoS?

dbp said...

What Bushman said and this should have been the followup question. Instead, these interviews go like this:

Interviewer: Asks question.

Obama: Makes completely unbelievable answer.

Interviewer: Okay, next question...

EMD said...

Bus, Hillary. Hillary, Bus.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Lie. Deflect. Lather,rinse, repeat.

chickelit said...

tds said...
My subordinates handled US foreign policy through an unsecured email server located in a bathroom somewhere, but what do I have to do with all of this?

10/12/15, 7:03 AM


I saw the photos with my own eyes too, but the notion is so ludicrous that it will have to be called a lie or ignored.

SMGalbraith said...

Not Steve Kroft: "Did you or your staff exchange classified information with Secretary Clinton?"

Not Steve Kroft: "Have you had your national security people review as to whether classified information was communicated to Secretary Clinton when she was using the privater server?"

Not Steve Kroft: "What did they determine?"

Not Steve Kroft: "Did any foreign government hack into her account?"

Et cetera, et cetera.

Peter said...

"I think Joe will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history, and one of the more consequential."

Except, the only time a vice president is "consequential" is when the president dies. Otherwise, their primary role is "understudy."

Obama's answer about Hillary's email: he cares to the extent it's a political issue. Because, this president has never really managed to come across as presidential; always and forever, his actions and demeanor shout "I'm just a small-time politician who's snagged this big, important office!"

Michael K said...

Obama took care of the national security matter by appointing the first Latina head of OPM who hired someone in China to administer the database. It was all over then.

damikesc said...

I'll be blunt: Cheney is and likely always will be the gold standard for VP. Most Presidents have too much of an ego to have somebody equally competent with differing views to ever be in that office

mccullough said...

Obama did a nice job of defending himself here.

Brando said...

That's some impressive weaseling. Reading between the lines, he's not happy with anything Hilary has done here, but won't take her down publicly.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Not Steve Kroft: "Did you or your staff exchange classified information with Secretary Clinton?"

Not Steve Kroft: "Have you had your national security people review as to whether classified information was communicated to Secretary Clinton when she was using the privater server?"

Not Steve Kroft: "What did they determine?"

Not Steve Kroft: "Did any foreign government hack into her account?"

Et cetera, et cetera.


Kroft knows that if he'll be on the outs if he starts asking his boyfriend tough questions.

Johnny Sokko said...

...finest vice president in history...

Best French restaurant in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Big Mike said...

I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.

Classified information and information that was technically unclassified but highly sensitive (the formal government term is "sensitive but unclassified" or SBU) was on a poorly-secured Email server and this idiot thinks America's national security was not endangered?

No wonder Obama's cybersecurity "czar" quit.

Bill said...

William F. Buckley once remarked, upon being told that Lillian Hellman was America's finest female playwright, that this was on the order of celebrating the tallest building in Wichita.

Coupe said...

It was like watching Rosanne Barr singing the National Anthem.

Michael K said...

"Cheney is and likely always will be the gold standard for VP. "

Yup and I imagine he enjoys the way the left wigs out when his name is mentioned. He is a tough hombre.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.

How the hell would you know that, Mr. President? Aren't agents of YOUR executive-branch law enforcement agencies investigating EXACTLY that question RIGHT NOW? I guess they should just stop, since King Obama has decreed that national security wasn't endangered. Sure, the released emails already show classified information was improperly shared and improperly cared-for, up to and included possibly exposing intelligence sources and methods (which, you know, are some of the most important secrets that exist), but hey, Obama says national security wasn't endangered, so who cares?

This fucking guy could have said "as far as we know from our current investigations into this matter so far, it appears national security was not endangered." How hard is that? What a hack asshole, to just declare something like that, KNOWING that will have command influence on members of the law enforcement community.

Hyphenated American said...

Once Obama said that he did not know that Hillary was using private server (and email address), Kroft should have followed up with "Why?". And then "Do you think it was a failure on the part of your security to miss this?" And/or "has no one on your team emailed Hillary Clinton and noticed that her email was not on the government server?"

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Classified information and information that was technically unclassified but highly sensitive (the formal government term is "sensitive but unclassified" or SBU) was on a poorly-secured Email server and this idiot thinks America's national security was not endangered?

This issue could turn out to be one of the biggest intelligence failures in US history. Of course, with the Justice Dept being a wholly owned subsidiary of the DNC, I don't imagine much effort will be undertaken to determine the real extent of the damage. There also seems to be a real lack of curiosity at the federal level. The only hope at this point is that Hillary's server scheme was so moronic that hackers would think it was too dumb to even consider. Unlikely but possible.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Stupid fucking Media can't even ask a simple follow up question, by the way. "You say national security wasn't endangered, but your government has had to redact a hell of a lot of data on those email copies released so far. If the data in question couldn't have endangered national security if released/intercepted, why is it redacted? Isn't it against federal law to withhold non-national security-related info from FOIA responses?"

Either the redacted data would hurt national security or it wouldn't. It's been redacted in the name of protecting national security (by preserving national secrets). Apparently that line of questioning didn't interest the Media, they'll just take this president's word for it. I'd call them dangerously incompetent, but strangely that sort of incompetence seems to rear its head only when they're dealing with a D. Funny, that.

damikesc said...

Once Obama said that he did not know that Hillary was using private server (and email address), Kroft should have followed up with "Why?". And then "Do you think it was a failure on the part of your security to miss this?" And/or "has no one on your team emailed Hillary Clinton and noticed that her email was not on the government server?"

Or simply "You NEVER emailed her once in her 4 years there? Because she had no government email address working, so it'd have all been returned"

Of course, with the Justice Dept being a wholly owned subsidiary of the DNC, I don't imagine much effort will be undertaken to determine the real extent of the damage.

Wasn't Bush castigated for "politicizing" the DoJ?

Michael K said...

"Wasn't Bush castigated for "politicizing" the DoJ?"

Bush was castigated by the Democrats and the press for firing some Clinton era DoJ attorneys who should have been replaced early in 2001 but the Democrats had blocked most of his appointments and he let them stay. That was a bad mistake and some were obstructing his policies. Two of them managed to take out Ted Stephens with false charges. That gave the Democrats the 60 votes in the Senate.

Fen said...

"and one of the more consequential."

ie. "Vice Presidents don't usually contribute much to begin with."

This is like when a woman praises another for "having the courage to wear that in public."

Obama fights like a bitch.

Fen said...

he let them stay. That was a bad mistake and some were obstructing his policies. Two of them managed to take out Ted Stephens with false charges. That gave the Democrats the 60 votes in the Senate.

The rot is systemic across the federal government. It doesn't matter how many times a Ronald Reagan gets elected, the Marxists are installed at the managerial level of our government and will continue to undermine conservative values and sabotage the Republic. This is why we need term limits for Federal Employees.

damikesc said...

The rot is systemic across the federal government. It doesn't matter how many times a Ronald Reagan gets elected, the Marxists are installed at the managerial level of our government and will continue to undermine conservative values and sabotage the Republic. This is why we need term limits for Federal Employees.

Just cut pay 50% for most positions. They already make 178% of what the average taxpayer makes. Then have a President decide to simply enforce the exact letter of the law and if any part is ambiguous at all, it gets ignored until Congress fixes it. The EPA could cease to exist quickly with that.

If you're turnover rate is below 1% every single year for as long as anybody can remember...you don't have a job. You have a nest.

I don't like paying for nests.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Caption: Obama distances himself from Hillary's email troubles

Not so much "distances from" as "declares unawareness of and uninvolvement in."

BN said...

"Obama distances himself from Hillary's email troubles."

Correction: he TRIES to distance himself...

He either knew or SHOULD have known. She worked for him.

A better headline would be, "The Liar in Chief lies again. And gets away with it... again."

Nichevo said...

Government service is a noble profession. But I do agree they seem to stay too long in one place developing power. Perhaps everybody could just come to work for quote unquote government, like enlisting in the army, and they transfer you around from place to place, epa to commerce to labor to state...