Obama: Targeting by IRS is 'outrageous'

IRS Scrutiny
Posted at 10:11 PM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-13 22:11:00-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the IRS shouldn't ever be perceived as "anything less than neutral."

He says he "will not tolerate" the targeting of conservative groups that the agency says took place during the 2012 election campaign.

The IRS has blamed low-level employees for singling out groups with words such as "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status. Those groups were then given extra scrutiny.

Obama calls it "outrageous," and says he wants to "find out exactly what happened."

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the IRS inspector general notified the White House counsel's office during the week of April 22 that it was completing a review of the IRS office in Cincinnati that targeted conservative political groups. Carney says the counsel's office was not given details.

Carney said Obama was not told about the review, and he reiterated Obama's assertion today that he did not learn such groups had been targeted until news reports broke Friday.