February 3rd, 2009
01:32 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama team was fully aware of Killefer tax issues

Nancy Killefer’s withdrawal came after the Obama team spoke with people on the Hill, and came to believe the Senate would rake her over the coals as the third Obama nominee with a tax issue.

Nancy Killefer’s withdrawal came after the Obama team spoke with people on the Hill, and came to believe the Senate would rake her over the coals as the third Obama nominee with a tax issue.

(CNN) - A senior administration official says the tax issues surrounding former chief performance officer nominee Nancy Killefer are "a little more complicated" than some reports have suggested.

There are actually a few tax issues - all in equally small amounts, all related to household help. Killefer’s withdrawal came after the Obama team spoke with people on the Hill, and came to believe the Senate would rake her over the coals as the third Obama nominee with a tax issue.

This official says the vetting team was aware of all Killefer’s tax issues, and that she was immediately forthcoming about them. Going back to the fall, the transition had decided they wanted her for this role when they unveiled the economic team, but held off on announcing her while they determined if they were comfortable with her tax issues. They decided they were, and announced Killefer about two weeks after the rest of the team.

The decision to have her withdraw has built over last two weeks in light of similar controversy swirling around Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during his confirmation, and their knowledge of the growing problems surrounding Tom Daschle’s nomination. Killefer, a McKinsey executive, never formally resigned - so she still has a job there to return to.

Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. NY republican

    I think I get it now – it's not the fact that tax evasion is illegal, it's the amount of tax evasion!! It's all so much clearer now, thank you!

    February 3, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Roger from CA

    Ya' know, really, folks, a couple of points here:

    First, "let he who is without sin....."– Sadly, even among the wealthiest folks, the willful failure to withhold and pay payroll taxes for household employees is MUCH more the rule than the exception, even among persons who othewise would never dream of stealing or violating any other law. I have NO doubt that many of the critics on the right who are salivating at the chance to knock Obama down over these appointees are JUST AS BAD in their own tax-reporting habits.

    Second, what kind of stupidity afflicts these public figures, who think that non-compliance with tax laws will not become an obstacle to their opportunities for leadership positions???? Since Zoe Baird in 1993, it has been well known this would be a problem. Crissakes! Pay those taxes, morons!

    February 3, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. So is anybody qualified?

    Or are they all crooks?

    February 3, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. HonestMistake

    I'm glad Obama was comfortable with her tax issues.

    February 3, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. LIP

    Will Rogers once said "Things will get better, despite our efforts to improve them".
    With that said, why doesn't everyone just grin and bear it and wait for things to improve. Obviously it will take time, but to saddle future generations with all this debt, which will affect the old and the young, is simply wrong. If we must do something though, then make it a compromise of both Republican and Democrat requests and cut the pork out of it. Let both parties agree on a 50/50 proposal so whether it succeeds or fails, they both share responsibility together and can't blame the other for whatever happens.

    February 3, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Romney2012

    ANOTHER.....YES ANOTHER...criminal supported by Obama! Selected by Obama to join his band of cronies....

    What's really going to be rewarding is when, through the threat of jail time, Gov Blag rolls over on Emmanuel and Obama.....I smell impeachment coming! Please God make it so; rid us of this shameful excuse of a man that weaseled into office through vast corruption....forgive the people that support him; they know not what they do! They're idiots!

    February 3, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Andy J, Upstate NY

    then why the heck did you nominate her?

    what is up with this "new era of responsibility"?


    I could see the writing on the wall, i voted libertarian.


    February 3, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. George

    dagnabit Mr. Prez please find somebody who has paid their taxes. this is starting to distract people from the real issues.

    February 3, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Pat CA

    As Obama liked to say during the election, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." A whole lot of Democratic pig and pork coming to light lately - with or without lipstick!

    February 3, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Andy J, Upstate NY



    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    That saying couldn't be more fitting.


    I saw this coming a million miles away. Thats why i voted libertarian... HEY AMERICA--WAKE UP, WE GOT BURNED.

    February 3, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Rob

    Well of course they were. Apparently if you're a Democrat, taxes are optional. That's why they never had any problems with "Tax the wealthy, they should pay more.", they wouldn't have paid the taxes anyways.

    So when exactly is this change I was supposed to believe in gonna be taking place?

    Isn't it ironic that the activity all you lib kooks have (falsely) accused Bush and the Republicans of doing is the very same thing that the Obama cabinet (both accepted and withdrawn) is in fact doing?

    February 3, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. ruty

    Is there no one in Washington that is truly honest?

    February 3, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. JB

    of course they knew.. but why would it matter.. these are Gods.. I mean Democrats..

    February 3, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Bill

    Oh perhaps it's for the best. Obama is just going to start asking All these nominees, hey have you paid your taxes?? All of them?

    February 3, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. tjp, valley forge, pa

    Now we can all see transparancy in government for what it truly is. The Dems believe that high taxes are fine as long as they don't pay them!!! How can BO be comfortable with a tax cheat?? He must be surrounded by them.

    February 3, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Brad - California

    I fully supported and voted for President Obama and am, at present, disgusted to see that he is filling his cabinet and top level positions with the same kind of people that been destroying our country for years. Not a lot of Americans feel any great deal of sympathy for anyone at this point, let alone those who can afford to have "household staff" and then fail to properly report.

    February 3, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. reggie

    Obama get your act together. Stop nominating tax dodgers to your cabinet. Why would you reward such behavior?

    February 3, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Bill

    Maybe the next person selected have the IRS complete an audit on the person before the nest person is in front of the camera by the President.

    February 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. vincent - phoenix

    do you guys know we are talking about $979 dollars??????

    regarding her NANNY?????



    February 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |

    Dear BO:

    Don't you think it would be a good idea to eliminate these people up front when you find out that they didn't pay their taxes rather than waiting until they've gone through the process of getting nominated and then having to withdraw their name???


    BO – change you can believe in.....yeah right. You're just like all the other politicans in DC.

    February 3, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Bob

    I did not support Obama but he is the president now. Don't stoop to democratic tactics but wishing impeachment. Unfortunately we the people put an inexperience empty suit with criminals as friends in office and now we have to deal with it. Let's hope the good politicians can keep our country moving forward.

    Besides, do you know how difficult it is to fire a minority?

    February 3, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Gary

    I think all of our politicians should go through a thorough audit. I think their would be quite a few sweating out the results of those audits!!! Our current tax system stinks. Let's go to a flat tax now.

    February 3, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Allen in Hartwell GA

    This would be the ideal job for a Republican! Seems they now know all about how to run the government correctly. Too bad they didn't know how when they were in charge.

    February 3, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Irishny

    Are there any democrats that Obama wants in this administration that ACTUALLY pay taxes???

    February 3, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. No Hillary = No Obama

    I guess only us "little people pay taxes". This is outrageous. How many more of these thieves are in the closet – boy Obama sure knows how to pick em.

    February 3, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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