White House press secretary Jay Carney assured ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl that President Obama did not “misspeak” when he said that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS targeting scandal. President Obama made the remark to Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly in their Super Bowl Sunday interview.
Carney told Karl that there were “at least 20 news organizations” that agreed with an independent Investigator General who said, back in May, that he found no evidence “that anyone outside of the IRS” participated in any “inappropriate targeting of conservative, or progressive for that matter, groups in their application for tax exempt status.”
It is unclear how 20 news organizations siding with the IRS position on this matter proves an absence of collusion or corruption. Carney continually claims that there was no corruption “outside of the IRS,” and therefore that exonerates them and “completely backs up” Obama’s denial of corruption.
Karl reminded Carney that there is an active DOJ investigation into the IRS matter ongoing. The Chief White House Correspondent asked Carney whether the President was “prejudging the investigation” when he says there isn’t a “smidgen of corruption.” Karl suggested that, since Obama has already expressed with certainty that there is no corruption, then “why doesn’t he just pull the plug on the investigation?” Carney replied by saying, “Obviously we do not interfere with Department of Justice investigations.”
At the end of the interchange, an unknown reporter can be heard commenting: “That ‘smidgen’ is going to go down in history.”