Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., believes higher-ups in the IRS were behind the targeting of conservative groups, but he said Monday there is "no evidence" the White House is behind it.
"At the end of the day, the IRS scandal really is scary. How would you like your own government to turn on you?" Graham said on Fox News Radio. "I don't believe this was something thought up in the Cincinnati office, but I have no evidence that goes to the White House."
The tax-collecting agency has admitted that it targeted groups with "tea party," "patriot" and other conservative-sounding words in their names for added scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. The efforts kept many from participating in the 2012 presidential election.
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Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, called White House Spokesman Jay Carney a "paid liar" Sunday on CNN. Fellow Republicans have said Issa went too far in the personal attack, and Graham agreed.
"Let's not make it personal. Jay Carney is not the issue here. He's the spokesman for the White House," Graham said, adding that personal name-calling "never helps."
Graham urged Issa to continue his efforts to find the truth by interviewing witnesses through his committee.
"Just plod through this," Graham said. "Keep calling people . . . put the puzzle together and let the American people make their own judgment."
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