Obama On IRS Actions: 'Outrageous' If True
It's "outrageous and there's no place for it" if the Internal Revenue Service did, as it has admitted, single out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny in recent years, President Obama said Monday morning during a news conference at the White House.
Asked about reports that the IRS targeted organizations that identified themselves as "tea party" or "patriot" groups and gave their applications for tax-exempt status extra reviews, Obama said:
"This is pretty straightforward. ... If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported .... and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous and there's no place for it." Those responsible, he said, will "be held fully accountable."
"I've got no patience with it and will not tolerate it," Obama added.
The president also said he was not aware of what the IRS was doing until Friday's news reports about the agency's admission and apology.
Earlier, we passed along word that the IRS may have singled out more groups than it has acknowledged and that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has called on the agency's acting commissioner to step down.
The president spoke during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House. Earlier, Cameron spoke with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, calling plans for peace talks involving the U.S. and Russia mark a "real breakthrough."