President Obama's knowledge of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server comes entirely from public news reporting, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.
Obama and his spokesmen have frequently made that claim about other issues plaguing their administration, such as the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the wait-list scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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Earnest made this claim after reporter Suzanne Malveaux asked about Obama's remarks to Fox News that Clinton had not jeopardized national security with her email conduct.
"Is this a belief or is this knowledge based on knowing the emails, or being briefed that these emails did not put national security at risk?" she asked.
"The president has neither sought nor received a confidential briefing or confidential information about the ongoing investigation," Earnest said. "The president's knowledge about this situation is based entirely on public reporting. This is one of the benefits of the approach that Secretary Clinton and her team have taken to dealing with this matter."
Earnest praised Clinton for deciding to make her emails public, although he did not mention the thousands Clinton deleted off the server. He also took a subtle dig at the media for its coverage of the story, which has lasted more than a year.
"All of you and your news organizations have spent God knows how many hours reviewing all those emails, some of them interesting, most of them mundane," Earnest said. "But it does give the American public some insight into what is included in those emails, and when you hear the president's public comments on this matter, it's based entirely on the reporting that you and your news organizations have done on this matter."
Earnest said Obama had confidence that independent investigators would "set politics aside" and focus on the facts of the case.
Obama told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that Clinton was an "outstanding secretary of state" who would never intentionally endanger American security, but he added she had shown "carelessness" with her server.