Franklin Graham says that President Barack Obama has not yet responded to a letter asking him to look into the possibility that Internal Revenue Service agents unfairly targeted the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and its offshoot Samaritan's Purse.
Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity,” the son of the organization's founder said he doesn’t believe that Obama “knew anything about this,” but hoped that he would look into it.
“I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt,” said Graham. “I like the president. I think he’s a nice person. I disagree with him on many of his policies, but at the same time I wanted to write him and let him know that we suspect that we were targeted. Would he look into it? But I have not heard a reply yet.”
Graham said that both organizations received IRS letters dated Sept. 6, 2012 stating that they were being audited, something which he found unusual.
“The IRS has the right to audit, Sean, that’s not an issue,” he explained. “But we’re two separate corporations, two different board of directors, different cities, different (IRS form) 990s. For us to both be notified by a letter dated the same day to me is a little suspicious.”
Host Sean Hannity joked, “I can see auditing you. But your father I can’t see auditing . . . We’re going to audit the Rev. Billy Graham?”
Graham sent his letter to President Obama last month. He told the president that he believes the audits could have been part of the IRS's admitted practice of targeting conservative and pro-Israel groups.
Graham ran statewide ads supporting a traditional marriage amendment in North Carolina.
He insists that he does not have an issue with the IRS agents who performed the audits, and he described them as “nice” and “professional.”
He added that they found nothing wrong.
“Having the IRS come in wasn’t a concern to me,” said Graham. “What was a concern, are we targeted because of our religious beliefs?”
He said he believes they were.
“I think that maybe this was an attempt to intimidate us or maybe payback because we spoke out on a moral issue and we prevailed in North Carolina.”
The newspaper ads asked voters to "cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel." The ad concluded, "Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me (Billy Graham) that America will remain one nation under God."
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