President Obama’s statements last Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes” about Hillary Clinton’s State Department email angered FBI agents who have been working to determine if her email setup put any of the nation's secrets at risk, says the New York Times, quoting mostly unnamed current and former law enforcement officials. Federal agents were still cataloging the classified information from Clinton’s personal email server last week when Obama played down the matter. “I don't think it posed a national security problem,” Obama said. He said it was a mistake for Clinton to use a private email account when she was secretary of state, but he concluded, “This is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.”
The White House backed off the president's remarks and said Obama was not trying to influence the investigation. His comments spread quickly, raising the ire of officials who saw an instance of the president trying to influence the outcome of a continuing investigation — and not for the first time. Ron Hosko, a former senior FBI official who retired in 2014 and now heads the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, said it was inappropriate for the president to “suggest what side of the investigation he is on” when the FBI is still investigating. “Injecting politics into what is supposed to be a fact-finding inquiry leaves a foul taste in the FBI's mouth and makes them fear that no matter what they find, the Justice Department will take the president's signal and not bring a case,” said Hosko, who maintains close contact with current agents.