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Obama: Nothing ‘Explosive’ in Hacked DNC Emails, ‘Fairly Routine Stuff’

‘—The leaks of what were frankly not very interesting e-mails ...’
By Grabien Staff

President Obama attacked the media for focusing on hacked DNC emails in the run-up to the election, even as there was nothing "explosive" in them. 

"It was fairly routine stuff," Obama told Comedy Central's Trevor Noah.

As a quick refresher, here's what Obama called "routine":

  1. DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was caught red-handed trying to ensure Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders. The revelation resulted in her resignation from the DNC.
  2. Democrats planned to use Sanders' religion against him, hoping Kentucky and West Virginia voters would oppose his based on his Jewish heritage.
  3. The Clinton camp mocked Catholic conservatives, suggesting they're only pretending to be Catholic so as to win votes.
  4. CNN's Donna Brazile was exposed leaking questions to Hillary Clinton in advance of a townhall event.
  5. Politico's Glenn Thrush was caught sending articles to the Clinton campaign before publication, offering them a chance to edit his copy.
  6. Politico's Kenneth Vogel was caught doing the same.
  7. CNBC's John Harwood was caught asking John Podesta for an interview with Hillary, promising he wouldn't ask her any hard questions.
  8. One DNC staffer said it was "fucking stupid" Obama wasn't spending more time helping them raise money.
  9. DNC staffers treated their donors with repeated disrespect, sometimes referring to them as "clowns." 
  10. The DNC was caught violating FEC violating donation limits to non-multicandidate PACs. 
  11. Other emails found DNC staffers mocking Hispanics, gays, and Republicans.
  12. Perhaps most damning, one showed the DNC panicking after Obama claimed in an interview not to have known about Hillary's secret server -- as all parties were apparently aware this was untrue. 

Back on "The Daily Show," Obama also questioned "the state of our democracy" for finding so much interest in the hacked emails, rather than keeping the political debate confined to policy issues.

"I think what everybody has to reflect on is what is it about our political ecosystem, what is it about the state of our democracy where the leaks of what were frankly not very interesting e-mails, that didn't have any explosive information in them ... ended up being an obsession," Obama said. "The real question that I think we all have to reflect on is what's happened to our political system where some e-mails that were hacked and released ended up being the overwhelming story and the constant source of coverage, breathless coverage that was depicted as somehow damning in all sorts of ways, when the truth of the matter was it was fairly routine stuff." 

"And the reason I say that is because, going forward, I worry that we don't spend enough time on self-reflection about how our democracies and campaigns work and how all of us have to, I think, do a better job making sure that we talk about what's at stake," he added. "For example, these e-mails got a lot more attention than any policy that was being debated during the campaign."

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