President Barack Obama's pick for ambassador to Tanzania was among the small circle of White House aides who were privy to the impending IRS scandal and plotted strategy about how to manage its public disclosure.
According to Fox News
, Mark Childress, deputy White House chief of staff, was chosen by Obama for the top diplomatic post for his "dedicated" service, having held top positions in the Justice and Health and Human Services departments.
However, in the weeks before the IRS scandal was disclosed, Childress had two discussions with the Treasury on the matter
, and talked about possibilities for how to disseminate the news.
None of the scenarios Childress discussed happened, and instead the news broke after Lois Lerner, then the director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, answered a planted question at an event on May 10.
A White House official told Fox that Childress was not involved in any discussion or decision to plant a question.
But the role he played along with other White House advisers in the run-up to the disclosures became controversial after the press office issued a number of conflicting accounts
, and his involvement likely will be the subject of questioning during his Senate confirmation hearings.
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