Meet the Press   |  May 19, 2013

Was Congress misinformed on IRS developments?

White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer reviews footage from last year of an IRS spokesman testifying to Congress that there was no targeting within the agency.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the other question is should congress have known more? were they repeatedly misinformed? look at this exchange questioning going on in march of 2012 . watch.

>> we've seen some recent press allegations that the irs is targeting certain tea party groups across the country, requesting what have been described as onerous document requests, delaying approval for tax exempt status. can you give us assurances that the irs is not targeting particular groups based on political leanings?

>> let me start by saying, yes, i can give you assurances. as you know, we pride ourselves on being a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. there's absolutely no targeting.

>> now that's not true. there's not evidence that mr. schulman did know at that point. why was congress repeatedly misinformed?

>> we learned congress was informed. congressman issa, who requested the original probe on this.

>> last fall?

>> last fall. and the congressman did an interview on monday where he said he was pretty much aware of what the report was going to say before it came out. so he was aware. now, i can't speak to what former director schulman knew. i think the acting commissioner former commissioner schulman . the acting commissioneri eriner talked about that.

>> and here was her argument, she said the media and congress are sleuthing for some hint that mr. obama picked up the phone and publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious action. is that valid?

>> no. some republicans here are desperately looking to make political hay. don't take my word for it. take the word of the independent inspector general who said there was no evidence of influence outside of the irs led to this.

>> were the democrats pressuring the irs to look into some of these groups on either side, conservative or democrat?

>> there are people who have raised question about how these 501 c 4 organizations work.

>> i remember abu ghraib and people said abu ghraib happened in an atmosphere that was countenance by the administration. you have a president who is campaigning against these groups in many ways, campaigning against supreme court decisions that allowed these groups on the left and the right. is there anything valid about that?

>> i don't think so. i don't think that's what the inspector general found and this president finds this conduct deplorable. this should never happen again. this is a breach of the public trust . we have to work together to rebuild the trust.