President Barack Obama took questions from reporters today during his visit at the G7 summit in Japan, but appeared annoyed when he was asked about Hillary Clinton’s emails instead of his trip to Asia.
After speaking at length about presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and the Democratic primary fight, Obama took an additional question.
“As a special bonus, I’m going to take one more question,” Obama said, motioning to a reporter.
But when the reporter asked about the State Department’s inspector general report criticizing Hillary Clinton’s email practices, Obama appeared grumpy, calling into question her trustworthiness. He was also asked about Clinton’s refusal to release the transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street.
“OK. You know what, I take it back, I’m not taking another question,” Obama said, smiling weakly. “We’re in Japan, don’t we have something in Asia that we want to talk about? I’ll be talking about this in Washington the whole time.”
Obama dismissed both questions as campaign related issues, referring them to Clinton’s campaign.
“During the course of a primary, people say what they think might help them get some votes,” he said, “Once the campaign is over they move on.”
Earlier in the press conference, Obama spoke at length about the ongoing primary fight between Sanders and Hillary.
“It’s been my view to let this play out, let voters make up their minds,” Obama said. “During primaries people get a little grumpy with each other.”
Obama recalled his own experience in 2008, citing a “buildup of aggravation” as the process got closer to a finish.
“For the most part, there’s not that big a difference ideologically in terms of the issues,” citing affordable college, universal health care, and raising taxes. “The differences are primarily tactical.”
He appeared confident that Democrats could unite by the time of the Democratic convention in July.
“They’re both good people, I know them both well, and I think it’s important to try to end this in a way that leaves both sides proud of what they’ve done,” he said.
He dismissed every bit of news conflict and poll as “day to day choppiness” but admitted that the eventual nominee probably wished the campaign was over. He said that it was also difficult for candidates to argue and fight with members of their own party.
“Would it be nice if everybody was immediately unified and singing kumbaya and whoever the nominee ended up being could just take a nice two week vacation to recharge?” he asked. “Absolutely.”
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