What do Fast and Furious, the IRS Scandal, the VA Scandal, seizing the Associated Press phone records, and now the Hillary Clinton email scandal all have in common? President Obama says he didn't know about any of them until he saw the reports on TV news.
In a Saturday interview with CBS News' Bill Plante, President Obama claimed he didn't know about Hillary Clinton's private email system until he saw the recent reports on television. When asked when he found out about the emails Obama's answer was,"The same time everyone else did through news reports."
This despite the report by POLITICO that the White House Knew about it seven months ago:
The White House, State Department and Hillary Clinton’s personal office knew in August that House Republicans had received information showing that the former secretary of state conducted official government business through her private email account — and Clinton’s staff made the decision to keep quiet.Sources familiar with the discussions say key people in the Obama administration and on Clinton’s staff were aware that the revelation could be explosive for the all-but-announced candidate for president. But those involved deferred to Clinton’s aides, and they decided not to respond.
(...)According to the sources, the problem came to light in August as the State Department prepared to respond to a request from the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. State Department officials noticed that some of the 15,000 pages of documents included a personal email address for Clinton, and State and White House officials conferred on how to handle the revelation, which they expected the committee to notice. But they felt that Clinton’s personal staff should take the lead, since she was no longer in government, and Clinton aides decided to wait and see.
The President must be a big fan of network news, since this is at least the fourth time in his presidency that he found out about a particular scandal via the news reports.
After the Operation Fast and Furious scandal broke, Obama responded to national outrage in an interview broadcast by CNN's John King on October 12, 2011, similarly saying he was out of the loop until he turned on his television.
'There have been problems, you know,' the president said then. 'I heard on the news about this story that – Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn't apprehend those who had sent [the guns]'
Apparently, the President found out about the IRS scandal the same way: asked about it during a press conference, he said he "first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this"
In May 2013, when the Associated Press revealed the Justice Department seized the phone records of its reporters, the White House reaction was:
“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters in New York Monday night.
"We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department. Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.”
There was a similar claim about the V.A. scandal. During the May 19, 2014 daily White House press briefing:
"When was the president first made aware of these problems?" CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked. "These fraudulent lists that were being kept to hide the wait times?"
"You mean the specific allegations that were first reported by your network out of Phoenix, I believe, he learned about them through the reports. I will double check if that is not the case. But that is when we learned about them and that is when I understand Secretary Shinseki learned about them, and he immediately took the action that he has taken."
The President also didn't know that the White House had scheduled an Air Force One flyover of Manhattan for a photo-op which frightened many in New York into believing there was another 9/11 type terror attack under way.
Thank goodness for the news media because, at times, it seems that without them, the President wouldn't know about the scandals brewing in his administration.
But, not everyone in the media is buying it. Back in 2013, even Jon Stewart of the Daily Show was already mocking the President's claims he finds out about everything through the news:
"I wouldn't be surprised if President Obama found out about Osama Bin Laden had been killed when he saw himself announcing it on television."
Stewart's hilarious rant is embedded below.