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WH deflects questions on FBI-DOJ feuding over Clinton probe

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White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz gave a non-direct answer when asked about the internal fight. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The White House on Thursday refused to comment on a reported feud between the FBI and the Justice Department over whether to continue investigating the pay-to-play allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation.

On Thursday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that FBI agents and Justice Department corruption prosecutors were engaged in an internal battle over whether to aggressively pursue leads in the case, and that Justice Department officials told the agents in 2015 to "stand down" and stop investigating.

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz gave a non-direct answer when asked about the internal fight.

"The president places a huge priority on federal law enforcement maintaining high professional standards," Schultz told reporters. "He wants everyone in federal law enforcement to perform at their highest level."

The Journal report chronicled frustrations on both sides of the dispute over how hard to pursue the Clinton Foundation probe. Agents argued that they had found enough evidence to continue investigating allegations first made in a book by a conservative author called "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich."

The DOJ prosecutors didn't think much of the evidence the FBI found, including recorded conversations of a suspect in a public-corruption case. They considered it hearsay, according to the Journal, because the person who was secretly recorded "wasn't inside the Clinton Foundation."

Details of the internal divisions in the probe are emerging amid a firestorm over FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress Friday notifying lawmakers that the agency is reviewing new emails that could be relevant in a separate FBI investigation of Clinton's email arrangement while secretary of state. The rare letter to Congress came less than two weeks before Election Day, leading Democrats to slam the move as improper and unprecedented.

Fox News reported that the FBI will continue its investigation into the Clinton Foundation, and are seeing it as a "very high priority."