Story highlights

President Barack Obama encouraged volunteers to work hard for Clinton in the next eight days

He didn't mention Friday's revelations about the FBI reviewing emails linked to her personal server

(CNN) —  

President Barack Obama told a group of volunteers for Hillary Clinton on Sunday to remain focused on electing the Democrat, despite what he called “noise and distractions” in the campaign’s final stretch.

Obama did not mention Friday’s disclosure from the FBI that it’s examining a new stash of emails that may be related to the agency’s investigation of Clinton’s private server. The revelation has thrown the race to replace him into turmoil, but Obama said he’d long expected such unwelcome interruptions close to Election Day.

“There’s going to be noise and distractions over the course of the final days of this campaign. We knew that was going to happen. It always does,” Obama said on a conference call organized by Clinton’s campaign. “But you just have to not be distracted and fight through it.”

Referencing Clinton’s “grit and that resilience,” Obama praised his preferred successor as a survivor of past battles.

“Hillary is no stranger to tough fights,” he said. “Whenever she gets knocked down, she just gets back up.”

The White House on Friday declined to comment on the FBI’s decision except to say it learned of the latest development through news reports.

Speaking aboard Air Force One, spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama believed the “decisions made by independent prosecutors must be made irrespective of politics.”

On the volunteer call, Obama encouraged Clinton’s backers to remain “focused on the issues that matter and the fact that the person Hillary is running against fundamentally does not believe in an inclusive America and doesn’t believe in opportunity for all people.”

He blasted Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, as “too divisive and too dangerous and simply too big of a risk to hold this office.”

“He’s going to tear apart the community and the progress that we fought so hard for,” Obama said. “And I for one think that’s not something we can allow to happen.”

Warning against complacency as polls show Clinton’s with a slight electoral edge, Obama told the group they should be operating as if their candidate is down by twenty points.

“Don’t start celebrating on November 3, 4, 5, or 6. Make sure we run through the tape,” he said. Election Day is November 8.