Obama Hated Getting 'Special Bonus' Hillary Email Question in Japan

May 30th, 2016 10:59 PM

President Obama took a few questions from reporters in Japan on Thursday night (early Thursday morning in America), about North Korea and then about how leaders at the G-7 summit talked about Trump. Obama said he would grant one more question as a “special bonus,” but when it was about Hillary’s emails scandal and the tough State Department Inspector General’s report, Obama screwed up his face and joked “I take that back. I’m not taking another question.”

Then he refused to answer the question about whether the new report hurts Hillary’s trustworthiness. He claimed “I think those are better directed to the campaign.”

OBAMA: As a special bonus, I'm going to take one more question. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President. You mentioned some tactical differences between the two Democratic candidates but when you hear Bernie Sanders speak it seems like he's talking more about the issue of trustability and the need for political revolution.

And just yesterday we saw the State Department's inspector general put out a report about Secretary Clinton’s emails and it basically undermined some of what she said about her email practices. I'm wondering if you think that undermines her trustworthiness with the American people and if you agree with Bernie Sanders that she should release the transcripts of her highly-paid speeches to Wall Street?

OBAMA: OK. You know what? I take it back. I'm not taking another question. (LAUGHTER) We're in Japan. Don't we have something in Asia that we want to talk about? I'll be talking about this in Washington the whole time.

On some level, this is a silly question. "Do you think the Inspector General undermined her trustworthiness?" is obvious. Why can't the question be more personal for Obama?

Such as: "How is it that you allowed the Secretary of State to do all her business with a private e-mail address and a private server? Why has this email secrecy been a problem throughout your administration, like with EPA chief Lisa Jackson?" Or: "Is this why your administration has been so unresponsive to Inspectors General?"

The president just babbled away from the question:

OBAMA: Look, I've already said a lot about those issues. I think those are better directed to the campaign. As I said before, during the course of a primary people say what they think might help them get some votes.

And once the campaign is over then they move on and they make an assessment in terms of how they can make sure that the vision that they care most deeply about has the best chance of passing a Congress and getting signed by a president, and that Supreme Court nominees are confirmed. All the things that make for a functioning, effective government.

"I've already send a lot about those issues" is code for "this is not a newsworthy issue and I have nothing new to say, so please bury this clip." Which the TV networks did...after CNN ran it live.