By Harper Neidig - 11-04-16 19:42 PM EDT
President Obama took a veiled shot at the FBI on Friday over leaks to the press about the bureau's investigation into the private email server used by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of State.
"When you are investigating a case then unless you have unearthed something, you need to just do your job," Obama said in an interview with Al Sharpton set to air Friday night on MSNBC's "All in With Chris Hayes."
"If there are things that you think are worth presenting, then you present them to a prosecutor," the president added. "The prosecutor then makes a judgment. The prosecutor can make a decision either to file a charge or not to file a charge.
"But we give enormous power to our law enforcement officials to keep us safe, to do a great job, to protect us," he continued. "But we also put these norms and rules in place, some of them written, some of them unwritten, to make sure that any of us are not suddenly affected by innuendo or rumors."
Last week, FBI Director James Comey sent a vague letter to Congress notifying lawmakers that the bureau had unearthed emails that appear "pertinent" to its investigation into Clinton's server. The news has shaken her campaign, with rival Donald Trump saying its evidence of serious wrongdoing.
Media outlets have been publishing a number of reports in the past week citing anonymous sources from close to the FBI and Justice Department, some detailing how the two organizations have been at odds over the investigation and others giving varying characterizations of the investigations into Clinton.
On Friday, Fox News anchor Bret Baier walked back a report he had made on air that an indictment against Clinton was "likely" to come out of an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
Obama on Friday pushed back against some Democrats who have claimed that Comey was trying to sway the election with his cryptic letter.
"Now I've said before and I'll say again, Jim Comey is a good man," he said. "And I do not believe that he is in any way trying to influence the election one way or another. I think he is a serious public servant who wants to do the right thing."
The president added that he believes the same applies to the majority of officials at the FBI and Justice Department.
During the interview, Obama pushed voters to get to the polls on Tuesday, saying that GOP-led voter suppression efforts are not stopping people from casting a ballot.
"We disempower ourselves all the time," he said. "You can't tell me that all those folks who don't vote are doing so because somebody's turned them away or somebody's intimidated them, no. It's because they decided they had something better to do. And my suggestion would be in this election, at this moment, there's nothing better to do than vote."