In a pregame Super Bowl interview, President Barack Obama told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” involved in the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups.
Obama’s bold statement stands in contrast to established facts. Even the left-leaning journalism group ProPublica has admitted that the IRS office that harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave ProPublica nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt statuses were pending. Moreover, ProPublica noted that the documents it received were “not supposed to be made public” but that “no unapproved applications from liberal groups were sent to ProPublica.”
Still, Obama chalked up the IRS scandal to mere mistakes.
“There were some bone-headed decisions,” said Obama.
The president then blamed O’Reilly and Fox News for the IRS scandal.
“These kinds of things keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them,” said Obama.