(CNN) – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney refused to take the bait Monday, declining to respond to Rep. Darrell Issa's scathing blow in which the Republican congressman called Carney a "paid liar."
"I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth with Chairman Issa," Carney said, laughing it off at the daily press briefing.
He then pivoted away from the controversial remark to say the White House is focused on finding all the facts in the Internal Revenue Service scandal.
Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Issa said Carney was a "paid liar" for the administration for repeating in press briefings the IRS' explanation of how conservative and tea party groups faced scrutiny in their tax exempt applications.
The IRS has attributed fault to the Cincinnati office, where the tax-exempt division is based.
"When I spoke about the situation, I was referring to the findings of the independent inspector general," Carney said Monday.
Robert Gibbs, Carney's predecessor at the White House, called on Issa to apologize earlier Monday on MSNBC. Asked if he wants an apology, Carney said he appreciates "those who have spoken in my defense" but maintained that he's not going to engage the Issa story.
"I am interested in what the president is interested in in this matter, which is we take action to ensure that this activity doesn't happen again, he said. "Those are the things that matter here."