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Obama Campaigns With Hillary Clinton In Charlotte, N.C.


Ever since the FBI started investigating Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, the threat of a possible indictment has hung over her campaign. Today the FBI director lifted that threat. Plenty of questions remain, though, about Clinton's handling of classified information.

She had hoped the conversation would take a different turn today. It's the first time this campaign that President Obama has joined Clinton at a rally. They were in Charlotte, N.C., and NPR's Tamara Keith was there. Hi, Tam.


SHAPIRO: I'm guessing the question of these emails did not come up in the speeches that Clinton and Obama gave in North Carolina, huh?

KEITH: No, it was a all love fest all the time, no mention of, you know, little problems like an email server. Clinton's campaign did put out a statement, though. Brian Fallon, her spokesman, said, quote, "we are pleased that the career officials handling this case have determined that no further action by the department is appropriate. The secretary has long said it was a mistake to use her personal email, and she would not do it again." So that's the official word from the Clinton campaign.

The FBI did point out that there were inconsistencies, though, including - initially Clinton had said that she didn't send or receive classified materials. Well, the FBI found that she did send or receive a number of items that were deemed classified.

SHAPIRO: And that suggests that even if there is no indictment, this issue is not going to go away entirely.

KEITH: Oh, this issue is definitely not going away. Republicans have been very disciplined in the way they've talked about it. And Donald Trump - tonight he was campaigning in Raleigh, N.C., and he had a lot to say about Clinton's email server.


DONALD TRUMP: We now know that she lied to the country when she said she did not send classified information on her server. She lied.

KEITH: And you can expect to hear a lot more of this. The FBI director gave Donald Trump plenty of ammunition to use in his case.

SHAPIRO: Well, as we said, the headline Clinton hoped for today was President Obama making his first campaign appearance with her in North Carolina. What did he say?

KEITH: He came out and said that he's with her, to borrow a campaign slogan. And here's a little clip of something else he had to say.


BARACK OBAMA: Sometimes Hillary doesn't get the credit she deserves. But the fact is, Hillary is steady, and Hillary is true. And she's been in politics for the same reason I am - because we can improve other people's lives by doing this work.

SHAPIRO: Tam, what is the Clinton campaign looking for from President Obama's appearances on the stump this election cycle?

KEITH: President Obama is what they call a convert. He and Hillary Clinton campaigned against each other. It was a bitter campaign as times. He said she was likeable enough. Well, now he's out on the stump, out to convince voters that she is likeable enough and that she is - can be trusted. And that's what he's doing. He's really trying to help make the case for Hillary Clinton in a way that Hillary Clinton can't make it herself.

And of course it's worth noting that Obama remains popular, especially among Democrats and especially among the Democrats that Hillary Clinton needs to turn out if she has a chance - if she's going to win.

SHAPIRO: That's NPR's Tamara Keith covering the Clinton campaign. Thank you, Tam.

KEITH: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.

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