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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Deniability

At National Journal, Josh Kraushaar writes:

The Wall Street Journal reported today that White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler was aware of the IRS wrongdoing on the week of April 22—nearly three weeks before the agency acknowledged its mistakes. It's hard to believe Obama's chief counsel was aware of what happened without informing at least the president's senior staff. Adding to the confusion, the White House hasn't allowed Ruemmler to be interviewed to add clarity to the timeline.
At last Thursday's press conference, Obama chose his words about the IRS scandal very carefully. "I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press." Even though he was asked about the overall malfeasance, he specifically said he didn't know about the report. That parsing alone raises questions about the level of candor coming from the White House.
Politico reports on an admission by Jay Carney:

Ruemmler did inform White House chief of staff Denis McDonough's office of the investigation, Carney said, and other senior staff were also told of the report. Carney wouldn't say who those other staffers were, but did say there were communications between White House staff and Treasury Department staff ahead of the first news reports of the IRS investigation, which emerged 10 days ago.
Though senior staff knew of the probe, Carney said Ruemmler concluded that the investigation was "not a matter she should convey to the president" until the report was finalized.