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And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
Someone described it as -- week for the White House.
As the president and top advisors have to confront three major scandals try to limit the damage to the administration.
And to Brazil mr.
Obama second term agenda.
Joining us now was the president's senior advisor Dan -- and Dan welcome back to Fox News on thank you press.
President Obama was asked a broad question about the IRS scandal this week and he gave a narrow answer let's take a look.
Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House.
Knew about the agency's actions before your counsel's office found out on April -- -- second.
I can assure you.
I certainly did not know anything.
The IG report before the -- Report had been leaked.
So he don't -- talk the president about the IG report the question was broader about any agency I -- activities can you say.
That no one at the White House knew any thing about the I arrests targeting conservatives.
Before our information about the IG report was given to the White House in April.
Yes the first time as we said has anyone heard about this at the White House was when.
The counsel's office of the Treasury Department called the -- the White House a few weeks ago and to the let us know that there is an investigation was coming conclusion.
You know the details on that we didn't see the report so we know facts at that point just that such an investigation was coming to conclusion.
But you didn't know anything about the idea that the the iris was targeting conservatives -- even know that the IG was investigating that -- we -- the -- -- was investigating potential targeting.
Political groups you did not like we did yes we've said that Jay Carney said that and you that.
We -- -- from the counsel's office a few just a few weeks ago now but I'm saying before that no no wonder that known that.
All right here's the problem without because in a congressional hearing on Friday the IRS's inspector general Russell George.
Said that he had talked to -- -- the deputy Treasury Secretary around June of 2012 that's right in the middle of the presidential campaign.
And told him that he was investigating.
IRS targeting a conservative groups are we to believe.
That the number two man in treasury never told Tim Geithner and Tim Geithner never called again right the middle of a presidential campaign.
Never told anyone in the White House about something this politically it's.
Laws what here's here's the cardinal rule when -- situations like this is you never in -- interfere than it in independent association.
Never give the appearance of an appearance in an independent association so at the trade department said they didn't tell anyone in the White House the Treasury Department also said that all -- it.
It still -- extra long was informed of what's at such an inquiry was beginning.
The inspector general us that he gave the same heads up to congress including Paris and I -- who had requested the original pro.
There's no details no evidence and it's congressman -- has said as to why he didn't talk about this publicly.
Is that when you do with a nonpartisan.
Agency like guarantee which you have the actual -- -- you go out and make assertions.
But again I just -- basically you're -- that nobody after that meeting between.
Russell George and -- a wall -- that nobody told the White House that this.
IRS IG investigation was gong that that is that for the Treasury Department said -- yes that's what I'm telling him.
The rise of the Tea Party and the application for tax exempt groups was a big deal.
At this point in the wake of the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court has a big issue.
For Democrats in September of 4010.
Max Baucus the democratic chair -- senate finance called on the IRS to investigate groups applying for tax exempt status.
In march of 20127.
Democratic senators urged the IRS to -- -- scrutiny.
Dan -- -- the marching orders at this point to the IRS pretty clear you had a a number of Democrats got a bunch of deep part of a supply protected them status and you -- Democrats in congress cited the I arrest we wanted to invest again.
Look -- don't take our work -- -- -- with the independent Specter general said in the report.
And -- congress on Friday that one no evidence it.
There is out any outside -- this other than this came directly from the IRS into that this was not necessarily based on political motivation that's will be an independent inspector general -- Is -- not necessarily based on.
That is days when he says that this was a management issue not political motivation.
Well it except the IRS that something different the man in charge of the IRS tax exempt division -- ground.
Until he recently announced he's been stepped down.
Said that part of the reason for the increase scrutiny of certain groups was and this is his direct quote in a letter to the inspector general as part of this report.
Numerous referrals from the public media watchdog groups and members of congress he is saying yes we were getting outside pressure and that's part of the reason we took this increased scrutiny of these -- I can only -- with -- -- inspector general found but here's the here's the real issue here.
Which is what happened there whatever the motivation.
It was outrageous and inexcusable and so we have to rent out his fix the problem make sure it never happens again and restore public trust circuits it's critical.
That the America Americans know that the IRS is operating entirely -- a nonpartisan way it's and that's what we're focused on.
On the one hand you have Republican groups complaining.
About the fact that the Tea Party is being.
Target and that was going on all through 201020112012.
A number of those who talked a congressman iso -- -- Republicans were calling on the White House calling on the IRS saying.
That the Tea Party groups -- gotten hammered at the same time that the Democrats are calling for more scrutiny you're saying that there was no politics in the IRS decision.
I can only tell you with the independent -- general -- but we're little we're gonna look at all of this the president's appointed.
A new acting commission the IRS is a career public servant who -- presence of both parties -- -- -- a thirty day.
Top down review to make sure that.
We make sure this never happens again and that everyone who did anything wrong -- -- held accountable.
Did the president ever feel independently forget the I -- inspector general.
Hey I'm getting all of this heat from Democrats to invest again and getting all of these complaints from Republicans.
Modern model and I -- president's -- and that he wins and no president we get involved in an independent IRS investigation that -- -- wholly inappropriate.
And or even -- -- we knew we ought to take a look at -- in her for very good reasons in this town the we use the the White House.
And this is far away from the IRS and lets them do their business you'd you'd say it's wholly inappropriate and ended at various points the president has talked about outrage and they -- that he feels the anger that the American people -- why anger outrage over watch because it is critically important that the American people have trust that the IRS which is.
Well you know is involved so that is a very intimate relationship with people -- their finances.
It's critical that they know that it's been -- -- a nonpartisan way in so that this was a breach of the trust for girls in the motivation grows and -- happen.
-- breach of the trust we have to fix it we have to restore that -- Throughout I want to talk about public confidence in breaches of trust because an IRS.
Officials Sara hall in Brohm who was when all of this started was in charge of the tax exempt division.
Is now running the IRS implementation of obamacare.
Is the president as part of this question of public confidence is he going to replace -- so that people can have confidence now as.
It fire as obamacare is implemented over the next year or two and the IRS -- at that there's no political.
Agenda well I think the first is important note that this individual was not named in the inspector general's report no one has suggested she didn't anything right yet.
We're gonna do the acting commission into a thirty day review and every one who did even -- -- we held accountable.
But I think before everyone in this town convict this person.
The court of public opinion -- no evidence let's actually get the facts and make decisions after that.
But it is -- falling abrams' role in all of this is going to be reviewed every once -- Maybe a top down review of the IRS and everything will be left and there's nothing is just suggest she did anything.
That's turned to bank Gaza and I want to ask you about one lingering question which is the president's actions.
On 9/11 the night of the attack as we don't know very much about that we do know -- in the afternoon.
He had an already scheduled meeting with Defense Secretary -- -- As well as the chairman of the joint chiefs general Martin Dempsey when he heard about this while they were in the meeting on and on related subject.
He said that he wanted them to deploy forces as soon as possible the next time that he shows -- -- that Hillary Clinton says that she spoke to him.
At around 10 o'clock that night after the attack at the consulate not as it turned out at the -- but the attack at the consulate was.
Did the president do the rest of that night to pursue -- -- With a look the president has kept up to date on this as it was happening throughout the entire night for the moment it started until the very act and because this is critically and that it is a horrible tragedies are people that he said.
-- -- whose lives are numerous people who work for him and I recognize that there's a series of conspiracy theories the Republicans this is spinning about this since the night it happened.
But the there has been an independent review of this congress is held hearings we provided tours or 50000 pages of -- for a dozen pages of documents up there.
We've been eleven hearings when he staff briefings in every one -- -- the same thing this is a tragedy.
It's the question here is not what happened that night questions what are we gonna do to move forward ensure that this doesn't happen again that's what congress should act and with the president called for a lap earlier this week.
Did -- were passed legislation allows actually implement all the recommendations of the independent accountability review ports and protector diplomats around the country around the world because.
When we sent our diplomats often to far flung places there isn't it in inherent level of risk -- -- we can an -- that -- -- it.
With due respect you didn't answer my question what -- the president do that he was kept Heatley was -- in constant touch that night with a -- security team and -- today's events as they were happening.
What is his national security he didn't talk to the secretary of state except for the one time when the first attack was over he didn't talk to the secretary of defense.
He didn't talk to the chairman of the joint chiefs who was he -- he was talking to his that's his national security staff he's not Security Council people who keep them up to -- about -- these things I think happened was -- in the situation room he was kept up to date throughout the day.
Do you not know whether he was and -- I don't I don't remember what room the president was in on that night and that's that's a largely irrelevant facts well why it is.
-- the question is the premise your question is that somehow so there was something that could have been done differently.
-- that would have.
Change the outcome here he kind of really review board has looked at this people looked at it it's a horrible tragedy what happened and we have to make sure it doesn't happen again here's the point up.
The ambassador goes -- and ends up the first ambassador in Morton thirty years is killed four Americans.
Including the ambassador -- killed dozens of Americans are in -- The president at 4 o'clock in the afternoon says to the chairman of the joint chiefs deployed forces know forces are deployed.
Whereas a while all this is -- This has been testified to by the no no one knows -- was or how we was involved there is a problem though and so forth so this suggests that the suggestion of your question is that somehow the president.
I found that there I don't know what the answer -- that's the the assertions from Republicans here that somehow this is that the president allow the staff had to take action as offensive.
It is absolutely and I think it's offensive arms and there's no evidence is so it's morning.
We just I'm simply asking a question where was C what did he do -- respond when a cop who told them that you can't deploy forces in what was his response as a city the president was in the White House that day he was kept -- -- -- -- -- security he spoke.
To the second -- an -- chairman torn jeans earlier the secretary of state later in it and as events unfolded.
He was kept up today.
Here's one of the reasons that people have questions about this this week the White House released a hundred.
Pages of emails all the communications.
Between the various agencies in the two days -- forces and rice came on this and four other Sunday talk shows.
I just want to put up a couple of the emails from the too from Friday.
Friday the fourteenth two days -- forces -- rice made her television appearance.
Friday 6:48 PM Tommy -- terror in the White House that's why I've -- that's the president's counterterrorism advisor.
Well how to edit I'm waiting for the house 7:39 PM Victorian new -- -- state.
Talking points could be abused by members of congress.
To beat the state department for not paying attention to agency warnings so why -- we want to feed that either.
But here's what the president's.
Spokesman Jay Carney said about all of this last November tackle.
White House and State Department.
Have made clear that the single adjustment was made those talking points by either of those two of these two institutions -- changing the -- consulate.
To diplomatic facility because consulate was inaccurate.
That's the problem he says that was a single adjustment by the White House and state any fair reading of the emails just the two -- -- That's totally -- like that I think we shall.
Look at now the emails are out and -- and what Adam and I think one of the problems of the so much controversy here is -- One of the emails was doctored by Republican source and given to the media to falsely.
Smear the president but and I I'm not talking about I -- that's an important point here because that we.
Now the emails are actually I'm I'm basin mines would you agree that the ones I read a couple of them that that played the point here is that.
The -- -- front to reminded congress two months ago congress looked -- Didn't say a word didn't that night they're provide in the context of John -- confirmation CIA director.
After seeing emails they approve John Brennan with a -- with a large bipartisan vote.
So that this is a look at there's no issue here what is clear from these emails is three things that -- -- all of the Republican conspiracy theories here.
First the idea that there is a protest.
Is in every version of the of the talking points put forward edited and written by the CIA.
No -- yes now they say they say the attack I I just run at the the -- -- the attack was inspired by the protests.
In Cairo there's no mention of a protest against the video and any of the -- idea the the idea that the president.
The point is that they beat the argument here it's been for Republicans is that.
It was -- nothing to do with the protests and that was somehow.
Fabricated by the administration political reasons is that is that -- -- demonstration about the video and the talking there's a mention amended the inspiration is -- what I did -- -- -- that -- demonstration against an idea.
-- -- -- With that what the fact that happened is well lobby with hot second thing in the in the talking points.
Is that the references to terror -- -- kinda removed not by the White House have a State Department but by the CIA.
Because in the in this is why Parton was -- a man.
-- -- -- be revealed is that the third the third thing is clear from this is that the motivation here was -- try to get it right as best we could in a very challenging situation with with changing information.
And two to protect the integrity of the investigation.
That is what that is what's in the in the actual email that was released not the doctored version.
The actual email us the White House involving years to say we have to protect the equities.
Particularly the -- put the investigation because that's -- the Barcelona bring these people just aren't and I do -- palisades relates the doctored email.
The question for the Republicans is are they gonna be is harassment ice and others -- interest and -- tracking down the Republican.
Who doctor this email and released it as they are investigating all these other things that's on the hope they would -- We're gonna agree to disagree on the emails I've won last questions records were running out of time.
Some critics say that when you take a look at all of these -- the confluence of these scandals AP.
Ben -- IRS that it raises questions about the president's.
-- this government solutions to problems and they also note how often the president's as.
That he found out about any problems when all the rest of us did take a look.
I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this he -- -- -- -- the news reports.
Yesterday on the road everyone knows and the president.
Did not know about this tactic until they heard about it on through the media it was something.
We found out of about along with the -- -- How can people have confidence in the president's program this -- so Laughlin.
And this isn't just coming from.
Republicans spit conspiracy diggers say in this in the mainstream media so often he seems to be a bystander to the problems in his -- administration.
I'd add I think that's an absurd proposition if you look simplest -- or talk in front of the IRS and from the justice investigation.
What would be a real problem is fast and furious he admitted which is also Department of Justice investigation will would be a real probably be if he was involved in this instance like I said the cardinal -- list you don't get involved.
An independent investigations and you don't give you carrots and doings of sets the right thing.
The question here is now that when problems come forward.
How how does the president reacts in the case the IRS within out within a few hours of the actual report being released he'd met with a Treasury Secretary -- with the Treasury Department.
Address the nation in taken action including the rate asking for the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner so it's how you respond of those fronts and that's what and that's what the president -- Dan thank you thanks -- -- -- -- today.
Taking all of my questions.
Will disagree about some of the answers but thank you as always thank you.
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