White House seeks to block release of some Obama-Clinton emails

White House seeks to block release of some Obama-Clinton emails
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The White House is reportedly seeking to keep some emails between President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonArmed man arrested at DC pizzeria targeted by conspiracy theory Clinton opponents vow to continue their pursuit ExxonMobil CEO, retired admiral will meet with Trump about State: report MORE from being released anytime soon, as a new batch of Clinton's emails were released Friday by the State Department.

"There is a long history of presidential records being kept confidential while the President is in office," a senior administration official said Friday. 

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"It is a principle that previous White Houses have vigorously defended as it goes to the core of the President’s ability to receive unvarnished advice and counsel during his time in office and is central to the independent functioning of the Executive Branch,” the official continued. 

“Those communications, however, are ultimately made public after the President leaves offices, as is laid-out in the Presidential Records Act.” 

White House officials said the refusal to release the emails was meant to defend that principle and wasn't based on the emails' content, according to The New York Times, which first reported the news and said the White House was attempting to block a small number of emails from being released. 

The State Department forwarded the emails to the White House for review, where it was decided they should not be released, according to the Times.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in March when Clinton's private email was publicly revealed that the pair "did have the occasion to email one another."

The contents of the emails between Obama and Clinton, now the Democratic presidential front-runner, have so far not been revealed as part of the State Department's rolling release of Clinton emails.

Several more thousand emails from her private server during her time as secretary of State were released by the department on Friday, the sixth release of its kind this year.

Obama told CBS News earlier this month that he did not know about Clinton's use of private email server as secretary of State. In March, Obama said he learned about her server when everyone else did, from news reports.

- Updated at 9:15 p.m.