Carney unsure IRS did anything wrong, but positive White House, campaign had no involvement

posted at 4:01 pm on May 14, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

You keep using that word “if.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

The White House revealed an interesting new threshold today for determining whether a wrongdoing has occurred. In the case of the IRS scandal, an admission and apology from the agency is not enough to say that its actions were “inappropriate,” according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. President Obama used the same oddly conditional construction Monday in his press conference. Instead of acknowledging improper behavior has already occurred, both Obama and Carney are in patented, Obama administration “wait for the investigation” mode, which conveniently precludes them accepting any responsibility for the admitted wrongdoing or promising specific action to rectify it.

Rich Lowry noted a plan being put into action:

To which I’d add Step 4: “That IRS story happened a long time ago.”

Here are reporters asking about the White House’s repeated use of the word “if” in describing the IRS’ misdeeds, and Carney’s response:

“If I could then go back to the IRS issue,” said a reporter from the AP. “The president did use the word ‘if these activities had taken place,’ but there has been an acknowledgement on the part of the IRS leadership that these things did indeed occur. I wondered why the president used that phrasing in claiming that it was outrageous?”

“Those from the IRS that have spoken about this obviously have much greater insight into what took place than we do. We have not seen the report. We have not independently collected information about what transpired. We need the independent inspector general’s report to be released before we can make judgments. One person’s view of what actions were taken or what that individual did is not enough for us to say something concretely happened that was inappropriate,” said Carney.

Later in the same press conference, Carney seemed to contradict himself when responding to another reporter’s question: “Don’t we know that part of it is fact? It’s not in the if area anymore. It’s fact.”

“I agree with that, and I think that was reflected in the tone and the nature of the comments you saw from the president,” Carney replied before reverting to “wait for the facts” mode and reserving judgment once again. The motivation for the misdeeds and the question of the extent of the scandal and Obama involvement can be up in the air, but the inappropriateness of the scrutiny has already been established. Obama and Carney can even read about that in press reports, where they find out everything else.

It wasn’t the only point on which Carney contradicted himself Tuesday. Early in the press conference, a reporter asked if he could “categorically deny” that anyone in the White House or on his political team was involved in or had knowledge of the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative organizations. Carney quickly said “yes,” but was later pressed on that assertion. Watch how fast it gets downgraded:

Categorical denial——> “I have no reason to believe.” ——> “I can tell you I’m not aware of anyone here knowing about it.”——> “I am certainly not aware of and confident that no one here was involved in it.” ——> “I think I can say that I feel confident in that.”——> “You’re asking me to prove a negative.”

An IRS admission of wrongdoing isn’t enough to prove wrongdoing, but Carney’s general hunch, absent thorough interviews of White House and political staff, was enough to categorically deny involvement.

Another point out of that exchange: The White House Counsel’s office knew for several weeks that an IG report would show this kind of clearly inappropriate action against the president’s ideological adversaries and didn’t tell Carney or the president, so he found out through press reports Friday?

Let’s end with Carney pretty much reduced to trolling Chuck Todd during a tough exchange about Obama’s position the press and DOJ’s powers: “You’re obviously free to ask him the next time he has a press conference.” Good one, Jay.

And, for good measure, I’m trolling Carney.


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And now Holder says he is going to investigate? Good Lord, does that mean Congress won’t be able to?

sandee on May 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Aren’t questions racist anyway?

tetriskid on May 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

We need the independent inspector general’s report to be released before we can make judgments. One person’s view of what actions were taken or what that individual did is not enough for us to say something concretely happened that was innapropriate,” said Carney.

“I wasn’t having sex with her…she was having sex with me”

The same people that believed Clenis will also believe Carney.

[Originally posted in the wrong thread.]

BobMbx on May 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

May Carney’s children grow up to be everything he is not, and despise him.

Liam on May 14, 2013 at 4:07 PM

From APs link:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Eric Holder remains a likely casualty, but the history of past scandals suggests his resignation would not be enough to end the current one. Hearings will be held, subpoenas issued, new investigations launched. And when it’s over, we’ll be hard-pressed to remember how it began.

We’ll remember, and we’ll remind you:

“I won”

BobMbx on May 14, 2013 at 4:08 PM

That Carney photo reminds me of the Sad Keanu meme.

JeremiahJohnson on May 14, 2013 at 4:08 PM

“I think I can say that I feel confident in that.”

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!” – Samuel Adams

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Cleta Mitchell, one of Washington’s most respected elections attorneys, told Newsmax she has tangible proof that high-ranking IRS officials in Washington were fully aware of the agency’s campaign to target conservative groups for heightened scrutiny, despite their denials.

And she thinks the president knew about the practice, too. If proven, she said, it could be an impeachable offense.

Not that it will matter.

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

I guess Carney is too stupid to know that being the Mouth of Sauron can be a career limiting move. Guess he’ll find out soon enough.

Physics Geek on May 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

bull*hit

This is communism run amuck…..

This administration and the democrats must be destroyed.

redguy on May 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Aren’t questions racist anyway?

tetriskid on May 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Only depends on if a half-black man is POTUS.

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Honorary tribute

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Jay Carney increasingly reminds me of Baghdad Bob.

Steven Den Beste on May 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I’m surprised carney doesn’t burst into flames from lies coming out of his worthless mount? For that matter bho/and his whole team!
L

letget on May 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

May Carney’s children grow up to be everything he is not, and despise him.

Liam on May 14, 2013 at 4:07 PM

This guy is a breeder???

redguy on May 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Without a shred of knowledge or insight into the matter, Bark can say “The police acted stupidly” when his buddy gets arrested.

When the IRS is actively apologizing and admitting their malfeasance, Bark wants to wait before passing judgement.

This is some funny stuff right here. The man is a clown.

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

But the Cambridge police acted stupidly.

22044 on May 14, 2013 at 4:13 PM

^ s/b mouth
L

letget on May 14, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Besides a politician who would ever hire this tool?

EA_MAN on May 14, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Now, if Carney would come out with one of these, I might ease up a little.

BobMbx on May 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

The MSM & Obama’s breakup song…

Don’t think sorrys easily said
Don’t try turning tables instead
You’ve taken lots of chances before
But I’m not gonna give anymore
Don’t ask me
That’s how it goes
Cause part of me knows what you’re thinkin’

Don’t say words you’re gonna regret
Don’t let the fire rush to your head
I’ve heard the accusation before
And I ain’t gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing

29Victor on May 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Keep f*cking that chicken, Jay.

Midas on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Without a shred of knowledge or insight into the matter, Bark can say “The police acted stupidly” when his buddy gets arrested.

When the IRS is actively apologizing and admitting their malfeasance, Bark wants to wait before passing judgement.

This is some funny stuff right here. The man is a clown.

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

He’s refusing to talk about specifics until the report is released. The President has already strongly condemned the behavior and said those responsible will be held accountable. It’s amazing that every single statement is now portrayed as part of a conspiracy, including attempts to weed out Islamic groups applying for nonprofit status.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

In Washington, scandals metastasize, growing and changing until we can’t remember what they were about in the beginning. A bungled burglary became a cancer on the presidency, forcing Richard Nixon to resign in disgrace. A money-losing Arkansas real estate deal led to Monica, a blue dress and Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Already, the furor over the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys has shifted focus from the crass but essentially routine exercise of political patronage to the essential project of George W. Bush’s presidency: its deliberate and aggressive efforts to expand and protect Executive power.

— Carney

Happy 40th Watergate anniversary, this week.

Carney’s wife, a ‘reporter’, lets him come home at night.

He puts Goebbels and Baghdad Bob to shame.

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Idiot and fraud of HA – NO one is held accountable on F & F and Benghazi…”the happened so long ago”.

Clown, combust, spontaneously, for shilling.

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Zero needs to give a soaring speech. On trust in government and stuff. Doesn’t he usually give a soaring speech when shit gets real?

Rational Thought on May 14, 2013 at 4:19 PM

“they happened so long ago”

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Opie Carney, the lying liar who lies, pisses me off every time I see his face. Where is Aunt Bee when you need her?
She would wash his mouth out with Lifebuoy, give him a trip to the backyard to pick out his own switch, impose some serious corner time and then send him to bed without dinner.

Jomama on May 14, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Keep f*cking that chicken, Jay.

Midas on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

bayam too. May they destroy you, slowly and painfully, you hypocrits and liars.

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:20 PM

I have no reason to believe otherwise than what I can tell you that I’m not aware of, which is that anyone here knowing about the fact that I am confident that no one here was involved in saying that I think I can say that I feel confident in that Carney and the whole Obama administration is full of shite.

The Rogue Tomato on May 14, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Idiot
The press actually doing their jobs
Miracle!

cmsinaz on May 14, 2013 at 4:22 PM

“You’re obviously free to ask him the next time he has a press conference.”

Ha!

“Hey man, ask him, not me.”

–President’s Spokesman

Axe on May 14, 2013 at 4:24 PM

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Keep f*cking that chicken, Jay Bay.

Midas on May 14, 2013 at 4:24 PM

He’s refusing to talk about specifics until the report is released. The President has already strongly condemned the behavior and said those responsible will be held accountable. It’s amazing that every single statement is now portrayed as part of a conspiracy, including attempts to weed out Islamic groups applying for nonprofit status.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Ooooo….strongly condemned, wow that is tough. Is this the part where I clap my hands and praise Dog Eater for his supposed forthright stance?

Sorry Charlie but we’ve all seen Bark’s version of “demanding accountability from those responsible”, the latest version being a filmmaker in prison and official refusal to answer the outstanding and pertinent questions about a murderous debacle.

Ya see, leaders actually…well you know…lead, and Dog Eater seems incapable of that. He takes all of 2 questions during his last press conference and then runs like a scalded dog, that isn’t leadership no matter how badly you pretzelize it.

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

It struck me as odd that IRS official Lori Lerner would suddenly offer a mea culpa ex nihilo — on the sensitive subject of the agency’s targeting of political enemies — off the cuff while she was speaking at a tax conference organized by the American Bar Association. When she was asked about that during a telephone call on Friday, she said only that she was asked a question and answered it.

But there is a bit more to it than that.

The question at the ABA conference came from Washington-based tax lawyer Celia Roady, a lobbyist in the firm of Morgan Lewis. Roady is certainly well-versed in the issue at hand: She was named to the influential Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities in 2010 by Douglas Shulman, at that time commissioner of the IRS. Lerner is the director for tax-exempt organizations at the IRS. Roady was serving on the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities while tea-party groups and other conservative organizations were being targeted by the IRS. Not exactly a question out of the blue — Capitol Hill sources described the question as “planted” and say the IRS has informally admitted as much.

Neither Roady nor the IRS responded to requests for comment on this issue.

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

He’s refusing to talk about specifics until the report is released. The President has already strongly condemned the behavior and said those responsible will be held accountable. It’s amazing that every single statement is now portrayed as part of a conspiracy, including attempts to weed out Islamic groups applying for nonprofit status.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

No, he’s being forced to say something where any legal counsel in the world would tell him to say nothing, and the excuses he’s using for his non-answers are awkward and ridiculous.

I didn’t know that IRS was trying to weed out Islamic groups.

Axe on May 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

“I can’t answer questions because I recused myself” — Holder today, tomorrow

bayam, suffocate from consuming their shit, you little creep.

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:31 PM

This is some funny stuff right here. The man is a clown.

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I’ll get back to you after I’ve wiped my chin off and readjusted my Kneepads.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Edited for clarity.

It’s amazing that every single statement is now portrayed as part of a conspiracy

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Especially by your side. Such as last week, when you getalifes were calling (2-time O’bama Voter) Hicks the Benghazi guy “a Republican Hack.”

A+

Del Dolemonte on May 14, 2013 at 4:34 PM

“I have no recollection, knowledge, involvement, tolerance of that”
– The Whitewash House

ghostwalker1 on May 14, 2013 at 4:34 PM

It depends on what the meaning of if is.

neyney on May 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

At best

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:36 PM

And now Holder says he is going to investigate? Good Lord, does that mean Congress won’t be able to?

sandee on May 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM

No, that means nothing, congress is charged with that responsibility, and has stated emphatically that they will not allow this administration to investigate itself.

right2bright on May 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Midas on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Best laugh I’ve had for a few days! Who said politics is a blood sport?

tomshup on May 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

The 0bama campaign had nothing to do with it? The crowd says

Sekhmet on May 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM

At what point do the press stand en masse and laugh this clown off the stage the second his mouth opens?

chewydog on May 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Categorical denial——> “I have no reason to believe.” ——> “I can tell you I’m not aware of anyone here knowing about it.”——> “I am certainly not aware of and confident that no one here was involved in it.” ——> “I think I can say that I feel confident in that.”——> “You’re asking me to prove a negative.”

They knew all about it. That’s what that means.

Curtiss on May 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Carney unsure IRS did anything wrong

You know, he’s right….I mean the IRS issues Apologies
once a week, on average…

ToddPA on May 14, 2013 at 4:44 PM

this will be the one the left focuses on.

It happened in the past. It has already worked its magic for the last election.

As long as they contain it, and keep Obama in the bubble, they can act all outraged.

Cause there will be a Rep prez one day.

Cause Media Matters, et al, would go the way of the Mohican.

Ben Hur on May 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

The President has already strongly condemned the behavior and said those responsible will be held accountable.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

He is responsible, here is a “leader” who knows nothing about Benghazi, knows nothing about the IRS, knows nothing about the DOJ wiretapping the AP…he doesn’t know much about what he is responsible for, nor is he kept informed by the people he has selected to keep him informed.

Which all adds up to being incompetent…being incompetent is not an excuse for making mistakes, sorry, but that is life. The president is held to a very high standard, and he isn’t even held to a low standard…the man is incompetent in leadership, but gets an “A+” in fooling fools…

right2bright on May 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Carney and Obama

Schadenfreude on May 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Now, if Carney would come out with one of these, I might ease up a little.

BobMbx on May 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

LMAO!

katy the mean old lady on May 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Zero needs to give a soaring speech. On trust in government and stuff. Doesn’t he usually give a soaring speech when shit gets real?

Rational Thought on May 14, 2013 at 4:19 PM

That, or he pivots or re-focuses or just says f-it and goes golfing.

What he does not do is lead

natasha333 on May 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

What Obama is now hoping for is what happened with Clinton, so many distortions, lies, that the brains of the liberals, and many in the middle, get fogged over and they become tired and exhausted by the day to day revelations of incompetence.

They get tired and just want it to end…all the time the liberals, hardcore liberals, will say…”They are picking on us constantly”.

The amount of bad decisions is almost too much for any normal person to consume…most just want it to end, the nightmare of incompetence to end.

right2bright on May 14, 2013 at 4:49 PM

How in the world does this guy sleep at night. He is a pathetic tool.

rjoco1 on May 14, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Carney unsure IRS did anything wrong, but positive White House, campaign had no involvement

Bwahahahaaa!

Priceless.

petefrt on May 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM

I’m curious… can the President’s spokesman plead the Fifth? At some point here, he’s going to run out of ways to obfuscate enough.

UnderstandingisPower on May 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM

“What difference, at this point, does it make anyway?”

“Lefty Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” (David Burge)

kirkill on May 14, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Resign, creep.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on May 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Benghazi Jay has shrunk before our very eyes…He looks like he’s wearing his daddy’s suit.

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 5:17 PM

The Sergeant Schultz defense, “I know nothing” Shall we call the democrats “The Know Nothing Party”

birdwatcher on May 14, 2013 at 5:22 PM

He’s refusing to talk about specifics until the report is released. The President has already strongly condemned the behavior and said those responsible will be held accountable. It’s amazing that every single statement is now portrayed as part of a conspiracy, including attempts to weed out Islamic groups applying for nonprofit status.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

SPIN SPIN SPIN SPIN. Sucking up to the new overlord will get you nowhere. Enjoy serving on your knees.

With apologies to Del: F-

kim roy on May 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Obamao’s teleprompter finally self-immolated from all the lies run through it

txdoc on May 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Now, if Carney would come out with one of these, I might ease up a little.

BobMbx on May 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

P on it. Would rather just let go and be done with him.

kim roy on May 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

“Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target Tea Party groups, signed the paperwork granting tax exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.

The National Legal Policy Center filed an official complaint with the IRS in May 2011 asking why the Foundation was being allowed to solicit tax-deductible contributions when it had not even applied for an IRS determination.

In June of that year, Lerner gave the foundation a 501(c) determination in an unprecedented 30 days and even gave the organization retroactive tax exemption to December 2008. It is illegal to operate for longer than 27 months without an IRS determination and solicit tax deductible contributions…”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/irs-official-lerner-approved-exemption-for-obama-brothers-charity/#ixzz2TJ0oOJo8

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM

1st step,say can’t comment until IG report comes out; 2nd step, initiate an internal review; 3rd step, say can’t comment bc review ongoing

— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) May 14, 2013

Translation: I can’t comment on an ongoing obfuscation.

Barnestormer on May 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM

A twofer! Carter and Nixon wrapped up into one inept package.

can_con on May 14, 2013 at 5:56 PM

He’s refusing to talk about specifics until the report is released. The President has already strongly condemned the behavior and said those responsible will be held accountable. It’s amazing that every single statement is now portrayed as part of a conspiracy, including attempts to weed out Islamic groups applying for nonprofit status.

bayam on May 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM

And keying in on the words “teaparty”, “liberty”, “educating the public on the Constitution” are now dog whistles meaning Islam to those in the know?
No WONDER they suspected the Boston bombers were tax day protesters! It all makes sense now.

Lily on May 14, 2013 at 6:11 PM

“You’re obviously free to ask him the next time he has a press conference.”

Currently scheduled for THE TWELFTH OF NEVER.

GarandFan on May 14, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Yes, IRS culpability is unclear. A signed confession is so ambiguous.
Also, it’s clear that the Obama Administration is in the clear on Benghazi. “AWFUL ANTI-MUSLIM FILM” and “FANATIC MUSLIM TERRORIST” have a ring of similarity to them upon close analysis.
1 They’re both in English.
2 The letter “A” appears twice in both statements.
3 The letter “I” appears three times in both statements.
Therefore it is logical to assume that, contextually speaking, “awful anti-Muslim film” and “fanatic Muslim terrorist” have identical meanings and anyone who contradicts or challenges this is a partisan, racist, bigot.

MaiDee on May 14, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Is it wrong that I enjoy watching Carney squirm?

myiq2xu on May 14, 2013 at 7:07 PM

“We didn’t do anything wrong.”

“And, we promise we’ll never do it again.”

I’m going to Miss Jay Carney. He is so entertaining. How many days will he twist in the wind after he is exposed as lying to the American press and to the American people?

billrowe on May 15, 2013 at 3:23 PM