''The President believes Director Comey is a man of integrity... the President doesn't believe that director Comey is intentionally trying to influence the outcome of an election,'' says White House spokesman Josh Earnest. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Barack Obama believes FBI Director James Comey is a man of integrity and is not trying to influence the U.S. presidential election by announcing scrutiny of additional emails linked to Democrat Hillary Clinton's private server, the White House said on Monday (October 31). White House spokesman Josh Earnest also said he has no "independent knowledge" of how Comey had arrived at his decision to make public the FBI email investigation or "what factors were considered" in his decision to discuss the issue publicly. Democrats kept up their attacks on FBI Director James Comey on Monday, accusing him of a double standard after he revealed his agency's probe into more material that might relate to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. Clinton's Republican rival, Donald Trump, has seized on Comey's announcement on Friday to press his longstanding charge that Clinton lacks integrity, hoping he can make an improbable late comeback and win the Nov. 8 election. The Clinton campaign and its supporters furiously attacked Comey for releasing information that raised questions but provided no details so close to the election. Some party leaders said the agency was concealing damaging information about the Trump campaign. The FBI spent a year investigating Clinton's use of a private email server, instead of government systems, while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Comey concluded in July that while Clinton and her staff had been "extremely careless" in handling classified information there were no grounds for any charges. But the issue resurfaced unexpectedly on Friday when Comey sent a brief letter to members of Congress to tell them the agency was looking at new emails. He said "we don't know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails," which were found during an unrelated probe into the estranged husband of a top Clinton aide. But Trump, a wealthy New York businessman, used the news to charge that Clinton represents a corrupt political system.