President Obama brusquely cut off a reporter’s question Thursday about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system at the State Department.
At a press conference in Japan, the president said he would take one more question from reporters. But when the question turned out to be about Mrs. Clinton’s emails that violated State Department rules, he quickly changed his mind.
“You know I take it back — I’m not taking another question,” Mr. Obama said. “We’re in Japan, don’t you have something to do with Asia that we want to talk about? I’ll be talking about this in Washington the whole time.”
He added, “I’ve already said a lot on those issues — I think these are better directed to the campaign.”
An inspector general found Wednesday that Mrs. Clinton did break State Department rules by setting up her own secret email server, and said she failed to report hacking attempts and waved off warnings that she should switch to a more official email account.
A reporter asked Mr. Obama whether questions about Mrs. Clinton’s use of personal email meant that she should release the texts of paid speeches she gave for Wall Street firms. The president deflected the question, addressing instead the rancor in the Democratic primary between Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent.
“During the course of the primary, people say things that they think will help them get some votes, and once the campaign is over, they move on,” Mr. Obama said. “The noise that is going back and forth between the candidates at this point … if you want insights into how they’re thinking about it, those [questions] should be directed to them.”