I didn’t take notes so I don’t have the exact words Press Secretary Josh Earnest used in today’s press conference, but basically he said several times, in the same or similar words, that President Obama had the highest confidence in James Comey’s good character and integrity.
There is no way the President of the United States could call for the resignation of the Director of the FBI. It would be unseemly and partisan, in fact, for him to say anything at all about this new wrinkle in the email brouhaha.
But what he has done through his press secretary is send a clear message to Director Comey that he expects him to live up to the words used to describe him.
This is sophisticated psychology. I’d expect nothing less from Barak Obama.
Some quotes from the press conference:
"The president does not believe that Director Comey is intentionally trying to influence the outcome of an election. The president does not believe that he is secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party."
"He is in a tough spot.”
"Nobody at the White House has insight into the decision that Director Comey made.”
From Daily Beast:
Earnest described Comey as a man of "principle" and "integrity" and said President Obama does not believe the FBI director is "intentionally trying to influence the outcome of the election," nor is he "secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party." He added of Comey, "He's in a tough spot, and he's the one who will be in a position to defend his actions in the face of significant criticism from a variety of legal experts, including individuals who served in senior Department of Justice positions in administrations led by presidents in both parties."
“The president doesn’t believe that Director Comey is intentionally trying to influence the outcome of an election. The president doesn’t believe that he’s secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party. He’s in a tough spot. And he’s the one who will be in a position to defend his actions."
“The president believes that our democracy has been very well-served for more than two centuries by officials at the Department of Justice and FBI observing long-standing traditions that limit public discussion of investigations whether an election is around the corner or not.”