Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer brought up on Friday’s Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” panel discussion that President Obama chose his words with surgical precision at a joint press conference held the day before. In doing so, he didn’t come close to answering a reporter’s question.
At that conference, the reporter asked, “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?”
The question was important because the reporter noted that the White House counsel had knowledge as far back as May 22, long before the president previously claimed he knew of the matter.
“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,” the president said, which would have been May 10.
Krauthammer noted that the president parsed his words very carefully, to the point where “it wasn’t Nixonian — it was Clintonian,” adding that, “Obama’s parsing words makes [Bill] Clinton look unsophisticated.”
The reporter asked if anyone at the White House knew of the scandal before Apr. 22 — not just if he knew. In addition, the question was asked about the IRS’s conduct — not the IG’s report of that conduct.
Krauthammer then discussed the problems with the dates.
“If his own counsel learns about this three weeks before, how can the counsel — if any — when any of us heard about this, we knew instantly it’s a massive scandal. So his counsel hears about this and doesn’t tell the president for three weeks, about what was a massive scandal?”
This very issue became the subject matter of a White House petition filed Friday.
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