President Barack Obama is guaranteeing that evidence, not politics, will dictate the outcome of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's handling of emails as secretary of state.
Obama's comments came during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," his first as president. Obama said he continues to believe Clinton didn't jeopardize America's national security with her private email server, but he added that "there's a carelessness in terms of managing emails" that she has recognized.
Obama said no one has suggested that Clinton's handling of government emails detracted in any way "from her excellent ability to carry out her duties." When asked specifically whether he can guarantee that Clinton will "not be in any way protected" during the course of the investigation, Obama said he maintains a strict line about not talking to FBI directors about pending investigations.
U.S. & World
"I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case," Obama said during an interview that was taped during his visit to the University of Chicago School of Law, where he taught.
The FBI is investigating whether sensitive information that flowed through Clinton's email server was mishandled. The inspector generals for the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies are separately investigating whether rules or laws were broken.
Obama touched on several issues during the interview, including the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court and how he deals with the threat of terrorism.
"What I think we can't have, is a situation in which the Republican Senate simply says, 'Because it's a Democratic president, we are not going to do our job, have hearings, and have a vote,'" Obama said, adding that he will stick with Garland through the end of his term.
The president also responded to Republican criticism that he hasn’t adequately communicated to the American people how concerned he is about terror attacks. Obama said he hasn't let acts of terror disrupt some of his regular activities because it's important to communicate a message of resilience.
[NATL] Top News Photos: Pope Visits Japan, and More
"The job of the terrorists, in their minds, is to induce panic, induce fear, get societies to change who they are," he said. "And what I’ve tried to communicate is, 'You can’t change us. You can kill some of us, but we will hunt you down, and we will get you.'"