Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, one of the men who uncovered the Watergate scandal, was asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if the recent IRS scandal is a reincarnation of Watergate.
“It’s a big mess, obviously” Woodward said. “I know there have been these comparisons to Watergate. I would say not yet.”
Last week, the IRS admitted to inappropriately targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny in their tax-exempt status filings. Watergate, however, involved the sitting President himself, President Nixon, directly ordering audits of his political opponents during a re-election campaign. The comparison, then, would imply President Obama was directly involved in the IRS scandal.
Obama, however, has denied these claims and issued statements condemning officials within the IRS who were involved. So far, there has been no connection made leading the scandal to the White House, despite GOP insistence on Obama’s involvement.
Woodward did explain that the Benghazi situation was fishy, as dozens of White House emails have been made public showing the huge amount of tension between the CIA and State Department regarding the appropriate talking points in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 2012 attacks.
“I have it to go back 40 years to Watergate when Nixon put out his edited transcripts of the conversations and he personally went through them and said ‘Let’s not tell this, Let’s not show this,’” Woodward said of the editing process for the talking points. “I would not dismiss Benghazi. It’s a very serious issue. As people keep saying, four people were killed.”
Woodward said that talking points should be eliminated from White House policy, as they do rely heavily of political correctness and strategy rather than straightforwardness.