Under fire from loyalists, White House admits ‘potholes’ in handling IRS scandal – Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facing criticism from Democratic loyalists, the White House acknowledged on Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s team has struggled to get its story straight on who knew what when about the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Democrats close to the Obama White House said they had been puzzled by the president’s team’s inability to establish one coherent account of the facts and stick to it in the nearly two weeks since the IRS scandal was disclosed. Some have communicated that sentiment to White House officials.
… When news broke on May 10 that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, Carney said Obama and top aides learned about the IRS probe based on news reports. “We don’t have any independent knowledge of that,” he told reporters on May 14.
Soon afterward, Carney acknowledged that the White House counsel, Kathyrn Ruemmler, had been informed on April 24 of the IRS’ likely findings by officials from the Treasury Department.
Just this week, it was revealed that Ruemmler had told White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and other senior staff about the matter.
Then it was disclosed on Tuesday that Treasury Department officials had discussed the issue with White House deputy chief of staff Mark Childress, including how the IRS planned to get out the word of the pending report by its inspector general.
Some supporters close to the White House, who declined to speak on the record, said the Obama team had violated a basic tenet of crisis communications, to find out what everyone knows, distill it and present it to the public in a credible way.