White House hopes Trump won't exact revenge on Clinton

President Barack Obama hopes president-elect won't use the criminal justice system against Hillary Clinton.

Ben Ariel ,

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest

President Barack Obama hopes the U.S. tradition of people in power not using the criminal justice system against their opponents will continue, the White House said on Wednesday.

The comment from spokesman Josh Earnest was a response to a question from reporters about Republican President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to jail his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

"We've got a long tradition in this country of ... people in power not using the criminal justice system to exact political revenge. ... The president is hopeful that it will continue," he replied, according to Reuters.

Obama spoke of Trump’s victory earlier on Wednesday, promising to help his successor in the transition into his new role.

"I spoke with president-elect Trump and congratulated him and invited him to the White House,” said Obama.

“It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences,” he added. “Everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. We’re not Democrats first, we’re not Republicans first, we are Americans first. We’re patriots first.”

During the election campaign, Trump said that if he would be elected, Clinton would end up in jail due to her behavior in the saga of the private email server she used during her term as Secretary of State.

The FBI said in July that it does not believe Clinton should be charged in the case, and repeated this position earlier this week following a short renewed probe.

Clinton maintains she used private emails out of "convenience", though she has also admitted it "would have been better" to have two accounts to separate work and personal emails.