In a daily briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated that the GOP efforts to find White House influence behind IRS targeting of Republican groups have deteriorated.
“Attempts to turn this into a scandal have failed,” pronounced Carney. “What some in Congress have failed to do is provide any evidence—because there is none—that the activity was directed by the White House or was even partisan or political.”
Carney did, however, admit that there are still concerns over the issue that need to be dealt with, adding, “that doesn’t excuse the conduct—it means we have to address poor performance.”
Carney’s comments come after an interview last week in which he stated that President Obama’s recent speeches have been an attempt to return national discourse back to the economy and away from “phony scandals,” particularly IRS targeting and Benghazi investigations. The speeches referred to by Carney involve Obama’s claims that Washington is becoming increasingly distracted by such scandals.
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In testimony concerning the IRS targeting issue, agency employees have most recently implicated Treasury Counsel William Wilkins, who is one of only two officials in the IRS that were appointed by the White House.