Obama, Clinton silent on FBI case in first joint campaign stop

Obama, Clinton silent on FBI case in first joint campaign stop

President Obama and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump preps conspiracy theory to explain faltering economy The ideological divide on vaping has a clear winner: Smokers Biden struggles to hit it off with millennials MORE both declined to mention the FBI’s decision not to recommend charges against Clinton for mishandling sensitive information during their first joint campaign event of the year on Tuesday.

Just hours after FBI Director James Comey announced that the Justice Department was all but closing the book on Clinton’s case, the sitting president appeared at a Charlotte, N.C., campaign rally to endorse the presumptive Democratic nominee.

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Throughout the more than hourlong event, neither one addressed the elephant in room.

Earlier, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One that Obama would not discuss the FBI’s decision and that the two did not talk about it on the flight down to North Carolina.

Obama is “aware of the news,” Earnest said, but the White House wanted to avoid weighing in on the issue too heavily, since the Justice Department has not totally closed the case. However, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she would accept the recommendations given to her, giving extra weight to the FBI’s decision on Tuesday.

"Based on what we know from Director Comey's comments, they've looked at this in excruciating detail," Earnest said.

Clinton’s campaign issued a brief statement after Comey’s announcement in Washington, saying that the “matter is now resolved.”

Despite deciding not to press ahead with a recommendation of federal charges on Tuesday, Comey was harshly critical of Clinton’s use of a private email address and server while secretary of State, which he said may have been hacked and should serve as a warning to other federal officials.