White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday that it’s a “conspiracy” that Obama knew Hillary Clinton was using a private email address, and to suggest he covered for her when asked about it.
Obama claimed that he learned of Clinton’s email server through news reports at the same time as everyone else. However, it has since been verified via information from the FBI and via the Wikileaks Podesta email releases that Obama and Hillary traded emails on the private server and that Hillary’s team felt the need to cover it up.
An new email released Tuesday provides yet more evidence. When Hillary’s team found out Obama had said he learned about the server through the news reports, they panicked because they knew that the president had already known about the server for a long time prior to the press reports.
“Looks like POTUS just said he found out HRC was using her personal email when he saw it in the news,” Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin told other allies in the March 7, 2015, email.
“We need to clean this up – he has emails from her – they do not say state.gov,” responded former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills.
“What the president said was an entirely factual response,” Earnest told reporters who asked about Obama’s role in the email scandal.
“I recognize that some of the president’s critics have attempted to construct some type of conspiracy about the communication between the president and the secretary of state,” Earnest added.
“But they’ve failed to put forward a conspiracy that withstands any scrutiny, so I guess they are back to recycling thoroughly debunked conspiracies,” he declared.
Earnest did admit that Obama exchanged emails with Clinton, saying “The president did trade e-mails with Secretary Clinton, not a large number of them.”
However, he denied that Obama knew about the private email address.
“Of course the president had possession of Secretary Clinton’s email address, but he did not have any knowledge of where her server was located or what sort of arrangements had been made to store her email.” Earnest claimed.
He also claimed that the emails leaked by Wikileaks might not be authentic.
“I can’t verify the integrity of these emails,” he said, noting the messages were “stolen” and released as part of an effort “to undermine our democracy.”
The Obama administration has stuck to the story that the President was unaware Clinton was using a private email address, despite the fact that the two were emailing via the homemade server.
During an appearance on 60 Minutes in October 2015, Obama answered unequivocally “no” when he was asked, “Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server?”
However, FBI documents released last month show that “Obama used a pseudonym when communicating with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by email, and at least one of those emails ended up on Clinton’s private email server.”
When Clinton aide Huma Abedin was shown the email by the FBI, she responded, “How is this not classified?”
An email released as part of the Wikileaks dump last week also strongly suggests that Obama knew Hillary was using a private, unsecure, non-government server and that he emailed her on it regularly.
The email was sent by Jennifer Palmieri, Director of Communications for the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, on March 8, 2015.
“Suggest Philippe talk to Josh or Eric. They know POTUS and HRC emailed. Josh has been asked about that. Standard practice is not to confirm anything about his email, so his answer to press was that he would not comment/confirm. I recollect that Josh was also asked if POTUS ever noticed her personal email account and he said something like POTUS likely had better things to do than focus on his Cabinet’s email addresses,” reads the email.
This all suggests that Obama’s March 2015 claim that he learned about Hillary’s email server “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports,” was completely false.