Clinton camp panicked over Obama's response to emails

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Hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman revealed on Tuesday that the campaign panicked when President Barack Obama implied that he had no prior knowledge of Clinton's private email server before it came out in the news.

Emails posted on the website Wikileaks show top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills' response when Clinton's traveling press secretary Nick Merrill forwarded a tweet that quoted Obama as saying he learned about Clinton's private server "the same time everybody else" did.

"We need to clean this up," Mills said to Podesta in an email. "He has emails from her — they do not say state.gov."

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks during a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
People listen as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
People react as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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A protester is escorted out as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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The exchange seemed to imply that Obama had prior knowledge of Clinton's private email, which contradicts what he said during an interview with CBS News in March 2015.

When CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante asked Obama when he first learned that Clinton used an email system outside the US government for official business while she was secretary of state, Obama responded: "The same time everybody else learned it through news reports."

The White House has previously addressed this supposed inconsistency. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said after the CBS interview aired that Obama "was referring specifically to the arrangement associated with Secretary Clinton's email."

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"Yes, the president was aware of her email address," Earnest said. "He traded emails with her. That shouldn't be a surprise that the president of the United States is going to trade emails with the secretary of state. But the president was not aware of the fact that this was a personal email server and that this was the email address that she was using exclusively for all her business. The president was not aware of that until that had been more widely reported."

The FBI investigated Clinton's use of the server, but the Justice Department declined to move forward with charges against her.

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