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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