Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:54 PM

President Barack Obama said he had no advance warning about an inspector general’s report on the Internal Revenue Service’s selective scrutiny of small- government advocacy groups.

With the inspector general’s report and investigations by Congress and the Justice Department, Obama said he is confident that “we’re going to be able to figure out exactly what happened” and hold those responsible accountable.

Any abuse by the IRS is a threat to all political activity, he said.

“We’re all vulnerable,” Obama said today at a White House news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. “Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you should be outraged.”

The White House is seeking to contain political damage from simultaneous controversies involving the IRS, last year’s deadly assault on a U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press telephone records.

Obama has forced out the head of the Internal Revenue Service over the agency’s selective screening of nonprofit groups and the administration released 100 pages of e-mails detailing internal discussions about information that was to be released in the days following the Benghazi attack. Yesterday, Jay Carney, Obama’s spokesman, said the White House is seeking a revival of legislation giving some protections for journalists to shield confidential sources.

The resulting furor in Congress threatens to slow or derail Obama’s second-term agenda, which includes seeking a budget agreement with Republicans and revising the nation’s immigration laws.

--Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Justin Blum

To contact the reporters on this story: Julianna Goldman in Washington at jgoldman6@bloomberg.net; Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

© Copyright 2018 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:54 PM
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