May 13 - U.S. President Barack Obama says he will not tolerate politically motivated targeting of conservative groups by the IRS and that, if true, those responsible will be held accountable. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday (May 13) it would be "outrageous" if Internal Revenue Service staff targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, saying anyone found to have done so must be held fully accountable because the agency must operate in a neutral, non-partisan way. "If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. And there's no place for it. And they have to be held fully accountable," Obama said at a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. A report from the inspector general of the Internal Revenue Service which is due next week is expected to assert IRS staff subjected the Tea Party and other conservative groups to unusually stringent scrutiny when reviewing their tax exempt status. The conservative groups, and Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress, has charged that the IRS was politically motivated. Obama said he would wait until the inspector general's report was released before commenting fully. "We'll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are. But, I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it, and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this," he said.