White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer says that although actions that need to be taken on the IRS scandal plaguing the Obama administration, the wave of recent controversies won’t adversely affect the Obama administration.
By Michael O’Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News
President Barack Obama’s team emerged on Sunday to defend his handling of revelations that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for scrutiny, as senior Republicans conceded they lacked evidence — so far — that the president directed the abuses.
Republicans appeared on the Sunday talk show circuit with hopes of sustaining their political momentum generated during this past week, one of the toughest weeks of Obama’s presidency. A series of controversies — that the IRS had targeted conservative groups, new questions about the administration’s response to last year’s terrorist attack in Benghazi, and news that the Department of Justice seized phone records of Associated Press journalists as part of an investigation regarding national security leaks — have forced the White House onto the defensive.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said the IRS controversy amounted to evidence of a “culture of intimidation” by the administration. But he and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., admitted they lacked evidence that the targeting of conservatives was ordered by the White House.
YOU WILL REMEMBER THAT SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL LED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN A WAR TO RENDER PRESIDENT OBAMA INEFFECTUAL AND IMPOTENT IN AN ATTEMPT TO LIMIT HIM TO ONE TERM:
- Obama picks temporary IRS head as Tea Party decries scandal (news.yahoo.com)
- White House defends IRS handling, McConnell asserts ‘culture of intimidation’ (firstread.nbcnews.com)
- Obama Appears Unscathed By Unfolding Scandals (huffingtonpost.com)
- McConnell: IRS flap ‘critical mistake’ (politico.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: McConnell: IRS Revelations ‘Just The Beginning’ (patdollard.com)
- Obama agenda seems to be weathering controversies (news.yahoo.com)
- McConnell calls for review after IRS admission (politico.com)
- Week of controversies take center stage for Sunday talk shows (firstread.nbcnews.com)
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THE WASHINGTON POST
National News Alert
President Obama announced Wednesday that Steve T. Miller, the acting commissioner of the IRS, had resigned in the wake of the controversy over the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. In an angry statement in the White House, Obama said the IRS’s actions were “inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it and I’m angry about it.” He added, “I will not tolerate this type of behavior in any agency but especially the IRS given the power it has and the reach it has.”
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Washington (CNN) — With a congressional hearing set for week’s end, President Obama vowed Monday to hold the Internal Revenue Service accountable if reports of political targeting turn out to be true.
“If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous. And there’s no place for it,” Obama told reporters.
“And they have to be held fully accountable. Because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity, and people have to have confidence that they’re … applying the laws in a nonpartisan way.”
Documents set to be released this week by the IRS watchdog show that the agency targeted tea party organizations and other groups focused on government spending and the federal debt that were seeking tax-exempt status.
The IRS also applied extra scrutiny to applicants with statements that “criticize how the country is run” or that sought to educate the public on how to “make America a better place to live,” designations that would have included conservative political groups looking to apply for 501(c)(4) status. Those disclosures are included in the appendix of an inspector general’s report, obtained by CNN, that has caused widespread anger among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as conservative groups.