On March 7 of last year, President Obama told CBS News that he’d come to learn about Hillary Clinton’s private email system at “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports.” This was obvious nonsense even at the time, of course; we were expected to believe that Obama never emailed his Secretary of State? But for those Democrats who deny reality until it reaches out and slaps them across the face, WikiLeaks took all doubt off the table.
On the same day of Obama’s interview, Clinton aide Cheryl Mills fired off a message to the rest of the inner circle. “We need to clean this up,” she wrote in an email retrieved from the server of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. “He has emails from her. They do not say state.gov.”
On March 8, Hillary’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri and top Clinton adviser Philippe Reines discussed how they should handle the lie.
“One of us should connect with the [White House] just so they know that the email will show his statement to not make sense,” Reines wrote.
“They know POTUS and HRC emailed,” Palmieri replied. “Josh [Earnest, White House Press Secretary] has been asked about that. Standard practice is not to confirm anything about his email, so his answer to press was that he would not comment/confirm. I recollect that Josh was also asked if POTUS ever noticed her personal email account and he said something like POTUS likely had better things to do than focus on his Cabinet’s email addresses.”
The next day, Earnest addressed the discrepancy in a press briefing.
“The point that the president was making is not that he didn’t know Secretary Clinton’s email address, he did,” Earnest said. “But he was not aware of the details of how that email address and that server had been set up or how Secretary Clinton and her team were planning to comply with the Federal Records Act.”
Earnest was back at it again this week, telling the press on Tuesday that everything Obama had said was consistent with the truth.
“I recognize that some of the president’s critics have attempted to construct some type of conspiracy about the communication between the president and the secretary of state, but they’ve failed to put forward a conspiracy that withstands any scrutiny,” Earnest said.
Earnest, of course, is conflating two different things here. Yes, there is certainly plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that Obama put his thumb on the scale in regards to the FBI investigation, but that’s a separate issue. The only issue here is whether or not he lied to the public last March when he said that he learned about her email situation along with the rest of us.
And it’s abundantly clear that he did.