President Obama, though acknowledging that the IRS’ alleged targeting of conservative groups remains under investigation, emphasized that he has “no patience” with the reported misconduct, though he stopped short of outlining consequences for the perpetrators.
“We’ll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are, but I’ve got no patience with it, I will not tolerate it,” Obama told reporters Monday.
Obama said he learned of the allegations through the media on Friday. “If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous and there’s no place for it and they have to be held fully accountable because the IRS, as an independent agency, requires absolute integrity and people have to be confident that they’re applying the laws in a nonpartisan way,” he said.
The president did not specifically say that any guilty IRS agents would be fired, which NBC’s Tom Brokaw said he needed to do in his first statement on the issue.
“There’s only one spin for the President to make, which is come out and say this is outrageous,” Brokaw suggested this morning on MSNBC. “It’s unacceptable in my administration, and I have asked the people who are responsible for this to be removed from their jobs, and we’re going to have a complete investigation and a thorough house cleaning if necessary of the IRS. I’m offended by it. This is not a political issue or a conservative or a liberal issue. It really is about trusting your government especially when it comes to one of the most sensitive parts…”