Until then, Obama has reminded those who ask, he won’t speak up unless he feels compelled to make any specific, candidate-neutral points to ensure Democrats win in November. “There is no way Barack Obama is intervening, unless something very strange happens,” said a friend who’s heard his reasoning. “He just doesn’t have that in him.” Even if he felt like speaking out against Sanders specifically, he knows such a statement would likely ruin his standing on the left and almost certainly divide the party just when it needs uniting, according to multiple people who’ve spoken with him about the race. Obama and those around him “have a very clear understanding that if they put their finger on the scale right now, all of a sudden half of the Democratic Party hates him,” an influential Democrat who keeps in touch with Obama explained.

Anyway, Obama’s team has made clear to Sanders’ inner circle that the former president has no intention of getting involved in the primary. And people from both camps who are familiar with the discussions say the pair has also spoken directly during this election cycle. Top Sanders advisors accordingly viewed the Fox Business report as a case of rogue former Obama aides speaking wishfully and out of turn, rather than a preview of things to come.