White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and other senior presidential advisers knew in late April that an upcoming report was likely to find that IRS employees had inappropriately targeted conservative political groups.
That disclosure on Monday expanded the known circle of top officials who were aware of the audit beyond those identified earlier by the White House.
The White House says McDonough and the other advisers did not tell President Barack Obama about the impending report, leaving him to learn the results from news reports later.
The White House defended the decision to keep the president in the dark, with press secretary Jay Carney saying Obama was comfortable with the fact that "some matters are not appropriate to convey to him, and this is one of them."
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