WASHINGTON — The White House is trying to put some distance between the president and the latest story to rock Washington: revelations that the Department of Justicesecretly obtained phone records from Associated Press reporters.
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said in a statement Monday evening that the phone records story was purely a DOJ affair. White House officials didn’t even know about it until they read press accounts Monday afternoon, Carney said.
“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department,” Carney said in a statement given to the press pool traveling along with President Obama on fundraising trips to New York Monday. “Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.”
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