May 16th, 2013
01:14 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama: I didn't know about IRS targeting before media reports

(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Thursday that he "did not know anything" about an IRS inspector general's report prior to media reports on it in recent days that focused public attention on the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.


Filed under: IRS • President Obama
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. just sayin

    The REAL Truth...
    @jsut sayin – the problem is that none of obama political supporters were similarly targeted. only obama's opponents. are you lefties willing to accept similar treatment when repblicans hold power? didn;t think so.
    ---------–
    Of course not! They were probably on the up-and-up and were quickly cleared.
    ---------

    of course!! they had to be!! they supported obama and his cause therefore rubber stamp those applications. thanks for proving exactly what is going on in the obama administration. this is the way leftists operate people. it is absolutely fair and right to openly target your political opponents using the federal government resources that we all pay for.

    May 16, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. Jean

    Wow this just gets better – all you liberals can put away any comments about the organizations targeted by IRS as not being within 501(c)(4) guidelines – the Soros funded moveon.org is a 501 (c)(4) organization and everyone, even you liberals, have to admit that Soros is the biggest left-wing liberal financing campaigns and political movements on the left. Moveon.org is the left's equivalent of the karl rove organization. Any argument the left had about why tea party and other conservative organizations were targeted by the IRS just flew out the window. BTW if the karl rove org should not be 501(c)(4) than soro's moveon shouldn't be either but I am sure no liberal will admit that because soros is just a plain old good guy with no ulterior motives, no he's as honest as they come . . . . rubbish and you liberals know it.

    May 16, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Yeah, sure...

    By the way, the question was "Did anyone in the White House know about the IRS..." to which Obama answered that HE didn't know anything. You didn't answer the question Mr. President...

    May 16, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. BlueChip

    I am a republican and I am so disappointed in some of these unnecessary targeting of this president. When will we get over the loss, understand what it takes to win and behave like civilized americans. This president is not and will not be implicated in any of these "scandals". Every administration has "scandals", I might differ with this president on policy, but he is clean, might be slow atimes, but he is clean. He is of unique intelligence and higher ethics than most public servants. I wish that we (republicans) can stop acting like hateful animals, leave the president alone, have reasonable discussions on policy issues (not personal) and move this country forward. Guys, at this rate, there might never be another republican president in my lifetime, I am only 48.

    May 16, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. much thunder..little rain

    obama needs to clean house...to many yes men..and he needs not to say he aways gets his news from news media...sounds sillyl

    May 16, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -Jack

    Hey Larry L, you mean the same president who wants to go around the democratic process of voting and issue executive orders? You know who issues executive orders? Dictators and tyrants. This is not an excuse for ANY executive orders, I'm sure you'll come back with "Bush did it too" yeah I know you guys are still living in the past and blaming all the bad stuff on Bush 5 years later. For the record, II do not agree with the idea of using them and NO president should be allowed to issue them. If you can't reach across the aisle and get people to work together, then you can't govern (the main job of a politician...outside of getting re-elected) and you probably shouldn't be POTUS.
    ********************
    Executive orders have been upheld, since not every action a president takes needs consultation with Congress. Take a civics lesson. Submitting everything to Congressional approval is a sure-fire way of ensuring that nothing gets done, and the Founders knew that, based upon the miserable experience Washington had waiting for Congress to do something, anything.

    May 16, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    The REAL Truth...
    @jsut sayin – the problem is that none of obama political supporters were similarly targeted. only obama's opponents. are you lefties willing to accept similar treatment when repblicans hold power? didn;t think so.
    ---–
    Of course not! They were probably on the up-and-up and were quickly cleared.
    ---

    of course!! they had to be!! they supported obama and his cause therefore rubber stamp those applications. thanks for proving exactly what is going on in the obama administration. this is the way leftists operate people. it is absolutely fair and right to openly target your political opponents using the federal government resources that we all pay for.
    *************
    And the investigation of the NAACP by the Bush adminsistration was NOT politically motivated? All the IRS investigations done at the behest of GOP administrations were somehow motivated by the purest of ideals? The convenient amnesia the Right dsiplays about its own history is sickening, but typical.

    May 16, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. thomase

    Just Sayin'

    the problem is that none of obama political supporters were similarly targeted. only obama's opponents. are you lefties willing to accept similar treatment when repblicans hold power? didn;t think so.

    ####################

    Uh, yes there were. Get outside of your foxnews and simply google it. If every other media station disagrees yours isnt some unique butterfly.

    May 16, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    incompetents is no excuse.

    May 16, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. just sayin

    Rudy NYC
    No, the problem is that when you put down for your Mission Statement that you want to reduce the size of government, reduce taxes, and eliminate government regulations, that sounds like a politically oriented group. Wouldn't you say?
    ------–

    sounds like a high school civics class to me. so just how do all the progressive and environmental groups qualify for this status? how is all that not political activity? come on, you gotta try harder than this.

    May 16, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Peoples State of Illinois wrote:

    I see the left keeps trying to defend the indefensible. Democrats are soooo toasted in 2014
    -------–
    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Yeah, sure...

    By the way, the question was "Did anyone in the White House know about the IRS..." to which Obama answered that HE didn't know anything. You didn't answer the question Mr. President...
    ================================================
    Like I said, if you put down stuff like "repeal Obamacare" on your Mission Statement, then the IRS is going to take a closer look at you. And, no, that sort of ignorance of reality doesn't need to be brought to the attention of POTUS. He already knows that it's out there.

    May 16, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    just saying asked:

    sounds like a high school civics class to me. so just how do all the progressive and environmental groups qualify for this status? how is all that not political activity? come on, you gotta try harder than this.
    -------------–
    All of what "Progressive and environmental groups"? Name one that falls under this category. One, just name one.

    May 16, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. AJ

    The President's response to whether the White House knew about targeting.

    “I can assure that I certainly did not know anything about the [inspector general] report before the IG report had been leaked through the press,”

    The president did not deny White H ouseknowledge of the IRS targeting conservative groups. He denied knowledge of the IG report. What a twisting of words.

    May 16, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Jack

    @The Real Tom Paine. I don't need a civics lesson, I never said that past presidents NEVER used them. I am, however, saying that the power of executive orders is too easily abused. While I realize the system isn't perfect and I blame Congress just as much for a lot of the inaction in this country, by the same token do you really think Obama would not hesitate to abuse his position to issue an executive order to push a political agenda against his enemies? Does this guy seem like an honest, and open, guy to you so far??? I say NO to executive orders AND term limits for Congress. When you can't sit in office for ~50 years maybe they'll actually start working together and stop stonewalling–on BOTH sides.

    May 16, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. bennetta123

    President Obama did not answer the question he was asked. He said he did not know anything about the IG report until it was leaked to the press. He did not say he didn't know anything about the IRS targeting. It would have been nice if the question had not been edited out of the above clip.

    The headline on this article is incorrect.

    May 16, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. bennetta123

    President Obama did not answer the question he was asked. He said he did not know anything about the IG report until it was leaked to the press. He did not say he didn't know anything about the IRS targeting. It would have been nice if the question had not been edited out of the above clip. The way the truth seems to be bent and all of the word games that are being played now, you have to listen carefully to what is being said. The plain truth in all of this would be a breath of fresh air.

    May 16, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Considering how unpopular the Tea Party movement has become, especially since it has strayed so far from the grassroots, there is no way the GOP will benefit from this. The midterms are 18 months out, and the GOP had already written Obama's obituary at this point 2 years ago: how did that turn out? Thinking this will pave the way for the GOP in 2014 is premature, at best.

    May 16, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    incompetents is no excuse.
    *******************
    I agree. So how do you explain yourself?

    May 16, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Jeremy Sand

    Get your facts straight CNN! That is not even close to what the President said!! He said that he knew nothing about the IG Report prior to it being leaked to the press. The question was did they know about the IRS targeting specific groups. QUITE MISLEADING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE! Your job is to report on the FACTS!!

    May 16, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Jeremy Sand

    @Fair is Fair Obama did not say that he didn't know anything about the IRS targeting specific groups. He said that he didn't know anything about the IG Report. I don't care if he knew about the IG Report. That was just released. The facts will soon show that he knew full well what was going on and chose to ignore it. In and of itself, that is an impeachable offense!

    May 16, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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