However, legal scholar Jonathan Turley disputed those assertions, saying there is no legal reason a president would be precluded from learning about the investigations before the public or commenting on them, at least broadly.
"These comments treat the president like he's the bubble boy," said Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.
David Axelrod, Obama's longtime adviser, acknowledged the White House could have acted more aggressively in "the interest of stagecraft." But he insisted that the president's handling of the matters will ultimately be vindicated.
"One virtue he has is that he takes a long-range view," he said. "It's easy to get whipped up by the frenzy, but it's responsible to react to the facts. It has short-term liabilities, but in the long-run, it's a quality you want in a president."
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