White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday said it is too early to think about firing Internal Revenue Service employees, even though agency officials acknowledged that it targeted tax exempt conservative groups.
“You’re getting ahead of it,” Carney said of the potential firings.
And like President Obama, Carney continued to use the word “if” when describing the IRS’ apparent targeting of the conservative groups' tax-exempt status.
“The ‘if’ is very important,” he said.
A new audit found that IRS officials scrutinized organizations with “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names, as well as non-profit groups seen as critical of the government.
“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,” Obama said in a press conference Monday with British Prime Minister David Cameron. “And they have to be held fully accountable.”
Obama declined to get into specifics of the IRS report, pointing to an ongoing investigation of the matter.
Carney took questions about the IRS scandal ahead of the president fundraising events in New York City on behalf of Democratic candidates.