Tags: trump | irs | scandal | obama

Trump: Obama Must 'Start Chopping, Chopping Strong' at IRS

By Todd Beamon   |   Friday, 17 May 2013 06:11 PM

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump said on Friday that President Barack Obama needed to "start chopping and chopping strong" at the IRS to restore credibility to the beleaguered agency after revelations that it targeted conservative groups.

“You have to start firing immediately -- and you have to start replacing with really talented people," Trump told Neil Cavuto on Fox News. "If he doesn't, this is going to get worse and worse."

On Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee grilled former IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller, who was ousted this week after the agency admitted to singling out conservative groups with the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their names for extra scrutiny in reviewing their applications for tax-exempt status.

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"I want to apologize on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service for the mistakes that we made and the poor service we provided," Miller said, amid heavy criticism by lawmakers from both parties. "The affected organizations and the American public deserve better.

"Partisanship and even the perception of partisanship have no place at the Internal Revenue Service," Miller said.

Trump told Cavuto that the IRS scandal was the worst of the three currently facing the Obama White House.

The others include the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last Sept. 11, and the Justice Department secretly obtaining the telephone records of reporters and editors of The Associated Press.

“He has to get really prestigious people -- and they don't have to be Democrats. They don't have to be Republicans," Trump said, regarding the IRS uproar. "They have to be the best people, because you have a situation that if you don’t start chopping and chopping strong, it’s going to be a problem."

On the Libya situation, Trump said: "You had death involved in Benghazi -- and gross incompetence, probably, at the least -- but you had a lot of death involved. That one probably resonates the least."

Trump said the AP scandal has particularly raised the ire of the mainstream press -- "lots of his most liberal supporters" -- adding: "From the standpoint of reporters, people who were really protecting the president forever, they are really angry."

But another pending scandal is Obamacare, he said.

According to news reports, the former head of the IRS department involved in the targeting scandal, Sarah Hall Ingram, is now overseeing the unit charged with implementing Obamacare.

Ingram was commissioner of the IRS office responsible for tax-exempt organizations from 2009 to 2012.

"That’s not the right person" for the job, Trump told Cavuto.

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Under Obamacare, 47 separate provisions require IRS involvement. It is the second-largest agency, after the Department of Health and Human Services, charged with implementing the healthcare act.

The IRS is charged with administering Obamacare's required purchase of health coverage and checking whether millions of Americans are in compliance.

Trump reiterated to Cavuto his longstanding opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

"Obamacare is turning out to be a catastrophe, in terms of its complexity, in terms of business, in terms of a lot of things," he said.

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