US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says President Barack Obama should be “investigated” over his role in Hillary Clinton’s private email scandal.
Trump said Tuesday that Obama knew about Clinton’s email arrangements while she served as secretary of state during the president’s first term in office from 2009 to 2013.
“That’s why he stuck up for Hillary, because he didn’t want to be dragged in. Because he knew all about her private server,” Trump told Reuters. “This means that he has to be investigated.”
The White House did not give any comments about Trump’s accusations, but Press Secretary Josh Earnest said earlier on Tuesday that Obama did not know where Clinton’s server had been located or other details, although he did have her personal email address.
Clinton has said her decision to use the private server installed at her home at Chappaqua, New York, for official government business was a mistake and has apologized.
New documents released last month by the FBI showed at least one State Department official had told investigators that there was pressure by senior department officials to mislead the public about the presence of classified information in Clinton’s emails ahead of their public release.
This added fuel to Republicans’ claims that officials in the Obama administration had sought to protect Clinton from criminal liability as she seeks to succeed Obama.
In a March 2015 television interview, Obama said that he had learned of the private email server through news reports.
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks, which has been releasing hacked emails in chunks for several weeks, disclosed a batch of emails from the account of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, which showed how her campaign reacted following Obama’s televised interview.
“We need to clean this up – he has emails from her – they do not say state.gov.,” Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton aide, wrote in an email to Podesta after Obama made the comments.
“State.gov.” is the State Department’s internet domain name, and its presence in the sender’s email address would prove it came from an official account.
In January, the State Department said it had found 18 instances of messages exchanged between Clinton and Obama among some 30,000 work emails Clinton sent back to the department in 2014.
None have been released due to a law that protects presidential communications from becoming public for years.