President Obama called Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for official emails during her time as secretary of State a “mistake” in an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes Sunday.
But he said the political scandal around it has been “ginned up” by her Republican opponents and that it was not a threat to national security.
“I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered,” he added.Obama said it is important for Clinton to answer questions on the subject “to the satisfaction of the American public. And they can make their own judgement.”
“I think she’d be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly,” Obama said.
Republicans have been highly critical of the potential security risks posed by Clinton’s private email server to sensitive information. Their concerns have been reinforced by recent reports of attempted cyberattacks on her system in 2013 originating from China, South Korea and Germany.
Obama said government officials “have to be more sensitive” in how they handle information and manage their personal data.
When it was pointed that his administration has prosecuted others for having classified material on their computers, Obama said he did not believe Clinton was purposefully trying to “hide something or to squirrel away information.”
After months of insisting that her use of the server did not violate State Department policy,Clinton said last month on an interview with ABC News that it was “a mistake” and, “I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.”
Obama also addressed Russian intervention in Syria, portraying Putin’s decision to support Assad as a sign of weakness.
Interviewer Steve Kroft couldn’t let Obama off the hook without asking about the 2016 presidential race.
His take on Trump:
I think that he is a great publicity seeker … He knows how to get attention. He is, you know, the classic reality-TV character and at this early stages it’s not surprising that he’s gotten a lot of attention.
If he thought Biden should jump into the race:
I think Joe will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history, and one of the more consequential. I think he has done great work. I don’t think there’s any politician at a national level that has not thought about being the president. And if you’re sitting right next to the president in every meeting and, you know — wrestling with these issues, I’m sure that for him he’s saying to himself, “I could do a really good job.”
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1LqDpp0