President Obama said during a nationally televised interview on “60 Minutes” on CBS News he didn’t think Hillary Clinton’s private email server was a threat to America’s security – that she simply made a mistake.
He also made somewhat shocking statements about his perception of climate change and its importance on the international stage when compared to Russia’s aggression into Syria.
But first, the Clinton email scandal.
Obama said: “We don’t get an impression here that there was purposely efforts … to hide something or to squirrel away information,” he said, explaining Clinton’s set-up of a private server in her New York home to send secretary of state-related messages was different from those who’ve been caught in the past storing classified information on their personal computers.
Senate investigators, meanwhile, have found Clinton’s private server had been under cyberattack several times by sources in China, South Korea and Germany, the Associated Press reported. The FBI is still looking into her server, trying to determine what information, if any, was compromised.
Obama then said the controversies surrounding her use of the server have been “ginned up” by political opponents for campaign season.
Obama also spoke briefly of Russia and Syria. When CBS host Steve Kroft questioned Obama about Russia president Vladimir Putin, the topic quickly turned to climate change.
“He’s challenging your leadership, Mr. President,” Kroft said, of Putin.
And Obama’s reply: “I got to tell you, if you think that running your economy into the ground and having to send troops in, in order to prop up your only ally is leadership, then we’ve got a different definition of leadership. My definition of leadership would be leading on climate change and [an] international accord that potentially would get in Paris. My definition of leadership is mobilizing the entire international community to make sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.”
Obama also said: “America is a safer place … than when I came in office. In terms of protecting ourselves against terrorism, in terms of us making sure that we are strengthening our alliances, in terms of our reputation around the world, absolutely we are stronger.”