Obama: 'I Certainly Did Not Know Anything about the IG Report' Before It Was Leaked

May 16, 2013 - 5:44 PM

Pres. Obama reassured reporters that he did not know about the Inspector General (IG) report of the IRS targeting conservative nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status prior to the report being leaked to the press.

At a news conference today, Obama was asked if he could assure Americans that "nobody at the White House" knew about the IRS's actions:

"Mr. President, I want to ask you about the IRS.  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 22nd?  And when they did find out, do you think that you should have learned about it before you learned about it from news reports as you said last Friday?"

Instead of directly answering the questions of whether "nobody" knew of the agency's "actions," Obama affirmed that he, personally, did not know of the report about the actions until it "had been leaked to the press."

"But let me make sure that I answer your specific question.  I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.

"Typically, the IG reports are not supposed to be widely distributed or shared.  They tend to be a process that everybody is trying to protect the integrity of.  But what I'm absolutely certain of is that the actions that were described in that IG report are unacceptable."

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