From: Parsons, Christi
Sent: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 4:35 PM
To: Rutherford, Sarah D. EOP/WHO; Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO
Subject: Print pool 2 -- landed in Columbus, part one of gaggle, see heads-up about radio interviews
Josh Earnest gaggle, en route Ohio
On reports of an FBI investigation into Trump’s connection to Russian associates: Earnest didn’t confirm the investigation and reiterated the importance of the White House staying out of the DOJ/FBI’s way in their prosecutorial and investigative decisions, “whether there’s an election around the corner or not.” He did bring up the recent intelligence findings about Russian involvement in cyber breaches, but did not connect that to Trump. (See transcript for more.)
On the release of FBI info on the Clinton-era pardon of Mark Rich, Josh said he did see the tweet from the FBI records vault, the first time he has seen such a tweet from them. He said in the short time since he saw the tweet he hasn’t found anybody at the White House who was consulted about the decision to issue that tweet. Reiterated need for WH to stay out of DOJ business.
On Director Comey’s decision to note the existence of newfound Clinton emails, he said he’s not aware that the president will make any specific reference to this in his prepared remarks in Ohio. HOWEVER, Obama is doing a couple of radio interviews in Ohio and could be asked about this. Josh would be surprised if Obama says anything materially different than Josh said in Monday’s briefing.
On whether POTUS would advise his successor that they could have faith in Comey: Said “there’s a reason he was appointed” and that the president “continues to have confidence in his ability to do that job.” What advice POTUS will eventually offer to his successor, he can’t say right now.
On Obama’s feelings about being on the campaign trail: The president’s “having a heck of a good time” … he enjoys the opportunity to address a large and spirited audience … “mindful of the fact that … this will be the last big campaign swing of his political career. “