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LIVE Joint Press Conference From the WH – Obama Responds to Questions on Recent Scandals (Post-event UPDATES)

LIVE Joint Press Conference From the WH – Obama Responds to Questions on Recent Scandals (Post-event UPDATES)

2:30pm EST – UPDATED with additional news coverage and video of the press conference, added to the end of the original post.

1:45 EST – Updated below to reflect the reporter’s question.

In a joint press conference today at the White House with the Turkish Prime Minister this afternoon, President Obama was asked by a reporter if the administration had known in advance about the issues surrounding the IRS targeting conservative groups.

Bloomberg TV:  “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 [about the IG probe]?”

President Obama’s response:

“I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the Inspector General report before the IG report had been leaked to the press.”

Interesting selection of words.

Here is video of that exchange.

The press conference is still in progress.  You can watch the livestream at C-Span. We will update this post with additional notable quotes and an embed of the full press conference.

Post-press conference updates:

Headline: “During Rose Garden press conference, Obama refuses to apologize for secretly seizing AP phone records, shifts blame to Congress for Benghazi security lapses, and dodges question about White House IRS knowledge” – David Martosko at Daily Mail Online

When asked about comparisons to Nixon, Obama paralleled his press secretary’s ‘check your history’ line.  From Business Insider:  “Well, I’ll let you guys engage in those comparisons,” Obama said, smirking. “You can go ahead and read the history, I think, and draw your own conclusions…My concern is making sure that if there’s a problem in the government, that we fix it. That’s my responsibility. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

When asked about calls for an independent investigator to look into the IRS scandal, Obama signaled that he felt the current actions taken were already enough.  The Boston Herald reported:  “President Obama brushed off calls for a special independent investigator into the IRS scandal that has engulfed his administration during a press conference this afternoon, saying the internal audit and criminal investigation headed by Attorney General Eric Holder are ‘sufficient.’  Between those investigations I think we’re going to be able to figure out exactly what happened,” said Obama. “I think we’re going to be able to fix it.”

In response to any speculation that Attorney General Eric Holder could be fired, Obama also later added: “I have complete confidence in Eric Holder…He does his job with integrity and I expect he will continue to do so.” – Boston Herald

If you missed the press conference, you can watch it in its entirety below.



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“I can assure you–if you’re dumb enough to believe me.”

radiofreeca | May 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm

That’s NOT saying:
1) nobody else in the WH knew what would be in the IG’s report prior to publication.
2) nobody else in the WH knew about the activities investigated by the IG, prior to the IG’s publication.
3) he didn’t know about the activities investigated by the IG, prior to the IG’s publication.

So – he’s pretty much admitting guilt, because if he was innocent, he could have said “YES”.

Obama just had his “it all depends on what your definition of “is” is”. That’s really not good.

Ah, ha ha, I’ll bet he didn’t.

That lady who let the cat out of the bag and the IG would have been staked out in the WH basement if he had.

Uncle Samuel | May 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm

He didn’t know about the IG REPORT, but he sure as death knew about the policy of intimidation and repression.

It was one of his baker’s dozen election fraud tactics.

Leftists are such petty little spiteful hateful people.

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | May 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm


Never believe 1 word they say.

It was a bogus presser, since the requirement was that half the questions had to be for the Turkish PM.

Why didn’t someone ask him, “Why was your envoy meeting with Ambassador Stevens on 9/11? What was so important to risk both of them on such a volatile date?”

OR: “Have you ever heard as big a liar as Obama?”

LukeHandCool | May 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Somebody said the WH defense narrative boils down to President Obama being “a hermit with a satellite dish.”

To think that I, LukeHandCool, know what’s happening in the world just as soon as the most powerful man in the world, sends a thrill up my leg.

LukeHandCool (who feels faint when he realizes he knows about world news events sooner than the president when the president has to step away from the TV)

Obama: In charge of everything, responsible for nothing.

It’s amazing how The Pres. knows nothing, nothing, nothing, but then is reputed to be a hands-on guy, and personally manages the drone kill lists.

DINORightMarie | May 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Two points:

First – since when is the President of the United States’ job to “fix” things – he (or she, one day) is to LEAD!! “Fixing problems” is the job of plumbers…….

Second – Obama says Holder “does his job with integrity….” Well, true – since lying, covering up, and attacking their “enemies” and protecting their “cronies” and fellow-travelers is Holder’s job, apparently. It certainly isn’t to KNOW ANYTHING!

DINORightMarie | May 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Another thought – where is G. Gordon Liddy these days? I bet he would have a LOT to say about the comparison between Nixon and Obama………… Fox News should dig him up and talk to him. Hannity, that would mean YOU, sir!

Colson and Hunt have passed away. But there were others……

My “history’ line” says nobody died because of Watergate. If chocolate jesus wants to fix government he can make a good start by quitting.

    Mike-in-Mass in reply to jdkchem. | May 17, 2013 at 9:05 am

    “Chocolate Jesus” made me spit coffee on my keyboard. How do I explain that to my IT department? Thanks for the laugh JDKCHEM!

How apropos that our Head Turkey answered the IRS question at a joint presser with the Head of Turkey.

He knew nothing. He knows nothing. Whatever nothing was, it shouldn’t have been leaked to you. They’re going to try to figure the nothing out. Handle it. Those other guys. Who run things.

Obama: I didn’t know about IRS report
…remember, that’s from a chronic, habitual, shameless, pathological, congenital, serial LIAR – to the billionth power

He didn’t help himself today.

Quite the opposite. From now on, this kind of BS will be parsed on the microscopic level.

As it should have been BEFORE the election.

Remember, during Watergate, Eliot Richardson refused to carry out an illegal order? He was made a hero.

Where is the Democrats” Eliot Richardson? I don’t think he exists.