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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX News  May 19, 2013 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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thanks so much for watching fox where more news is always on the way. >> chris: i'm chris wallace. today, the irs scandal. how far does it reach? >> it is inexcusable and americans are right to be angry about it and i'm angry about it. >> someone needs to be held responsible. someone needs to be in prison. someone needs to be prosecuted. >> this is not limited to the irs. this is a culture of intimidation. >> chris: the president promises to fix the problem as the white house goes into damage control and congressional investigations gear up. >> why did you mislead congress and the american people on this? >> mr. chairman, i did not mislead congress nor the american people. >> chris: we will talk with a member of the president's inner circle senior advisor dan pfeiffer and leading republican
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and member of the first committee to probe the irs scandal, congressman paul ryan. what does this crisis of confidence mean for the president's big government agenda? we he will ask our sunday panel about the storm clouds of distrust gathering over the white house. all right now on "fox news sunday." >> chris: and hello again from fox news in washington. someone described it as hell week for the white house as the president and top advisors had to confront three major scandals, try to limit the damage to the administration, and to pursue mr. obama's second term agenda. joining us now is the president's senior advisor dan pfeiffer. and dan, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you, chris. >> chris: president obama was asked a broad question about the irs scandal this week and he gave a narrow answer. let's take a look. can you assure the american people that nobody in the white house knew about the agency's
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actions before your counsel's office found out on april 22? >> i can assure you that i certainly did not know anything about the ig report before the ig report had been leaked through press. >> chris: so, he only talked the president about the ig report. the question was broader about any agency irs activities. white house knew anything about the irs targeting conservatives before information about the eg report was given to the white house in april? >> yes, the first time as we he said that any one heard about this at the white house is when the counsel's office of treasury department called to let us know there was an investigation that was coming to a conclusion. we didn't know the details of it. we didn't see the report. we had no facts at this point. just that an investigation was coming to a conclusion. >> chris: but you didn't know anything about the idea that the irs was targeting conservatives and even know that the ig was investigating them.
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>> we knew they were investigating the potential targeting of political group is. >> chris: you did know that? >> we knew that just a few weeks ago. >> chris: i'm saying before that. >> no one knew that. >> chris: here is the problem with that. because in the congressional hearing on friday the irs inspector general russell george said that he had talked to neal woland the deputy tressi secretary around june of 2012 in the the middle of the presidential campaign and told him that he was investigating irs targeting of conservative groups. are are we to believe that the number two man in treasury never told tim geithner and he never told again right in the middle of a presidential campaign never told any one in the white house about something this politically explosive? >> here is the cardinal rule when you deal with situations like this. never interfere with an independent investigation and never give the appearance of interfering with an independent investigation. they didn't tell any one in the white house and the treasury
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department said that all that secretary warren was informed about was that an investigation was beginning. gave the same heads up to congressman ice is a. there was no details and no evidence and as congressman issa said as to why he didn't talk about this publicly when you are dealing with a nonpartisan agency like the irs you wait until you have the actual facts and go out and make assertions. >> chris: you are saying that nobody told the white house that the irs ig investigation was going. >> that's what i'm saying. >> chris: the rise of the application for tax exempt group was a big deal at this point. a big issue for democrats. in september of 2010, the democratic chair of senate finance called on the irs to investigate groups applying for tax exempt status.
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in march of 2012, seven democratic en urged the irs to beef up scrutiny. weren't the marching orders at this point to the irs pretty clear? you had a number of democrats, a bunch of tee party groups applying for tax exempt status and democrats in congress saying to the irs we want you investigate? >> don't take our word for it. what the in depen department inspector general said in the report to congress on friday. one, this was no outside influences other than this came directly from the irs and two this was not necessarily based on political motivation. >> chris: you said not necessarily based upon. >> he said this was management, not political motivation. >> chris: the man in charge of the irs tax exempt division joseph grant until he recently announced he would step down said that part of the reason for increased scrutiny of certain groups was and this was his direct quote in the letter
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to the inspector general as part of the report numerous referrals from the public, media, watch dog groups and members of congress. yes, we were getting outside pressure and that is part of the reason. >> here is the real issue here. which is what happened there, whatever the motivation was outrageous and inexcusable. what we have to do right now is fix the problem and make sure it never happens again and restore public trust there because it is critical that americans know that the irs is operating entirely in a nonpartisan way. that is what we are focused on. >> chris: on the one hand, you have republican groups complaining about the fact that the tea party is being targeted. and that was going on all through 2010, 2011, 2012. a number of those you talked about congressman issa. republicans were calling on the white house, calling on the irs saying that the tea party groups are getting hammered at the same time that the democrats are calling for more scrutiny. you are saying there was no politics in the irs decision? >> i can only tell you what the
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general said.t inspector we will look at all of this. the president appointed a new actth commissioner of the irs who served presidents of both parties. he will do a 30 day top down review to make sure that this never happens again and everyone who did anything wrong here is held accountable. >> chris: hey, i'm getting all of this heat from democrats to investigate and getting all of the complaints from republicans why don't i as president step in? >> it no president would get involved in an independent irs investigation. that would be wholly inappropriate. >> chris: or even to say we have to take a a look at this? >> for very good reasons in this town we -- the -- the white house and the state -- needs to stay as far away from nd let them do their business. >> chris: you say it is wholly inappropriate and at vairous points the president talked about the outrage and hanger that he feels and the anger that the american people feel. anger, outrage over what?
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>> it is critically important that the american people have trust that the irs that has an intimate rallyingsship with people and their finances critical that it is done in a nonpartisan way. this is a breach of the trust. we have to fix it and restore that trust. >> chris: i want to talk about public confidences and breaches of trust. an irs official sarah ingram who was in charge of the tax exempt division when all of this started is now running the irs implementation of obamacare. is the president as part of the question of public confidence is he going to replace her so that people can have confidence as obamacare is implemented over the next year or two and the irs rolling it that there is no political agenda? >> i think first it is important to note this individual was not named in the inspector general report. no one has suggested she did anything wrong yet. the acting commissioner is going to do a 30 day review and everyone who did anything wrong is going to be held
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accountable. i think before everyone in this town convicts this person in the court of public opinion with no evidence let's get the facts and make the decision after that. >> chris: but the role in all of this is going to about be review youd. >> a top down review of the irs and everyone will be looked at. there is nothing to suggest that she did anything wrong. >> chris: let's turn to benghazi and i want to ask you about one linkerring question which is the president's actions on 9/11 the night of the attack. we don't know much about that. we do know in the afternoon he had an already scheduled meeting with defense secretary panetta and martin dempsey. he says that he wanted them to deploy forces as soon as possible. the next time that he shows up is that hillary clinton says that she spoke to him at around 10:00 at that night after the attack at the consulate had ended. question, what did the president do the rest of that night to pursue benghazi?
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>> well, the president was kept up to date on this as it was happening throughout the entire night from the moment it started until the very end because this is critically -- this is a horrible tragedy. these are people that he sent abroad whose lives are at risk. people who work for him. i recognize there is a series of conspiracy theories republicans have been spinning about this since the night it happened. there has been an independent review of in. congress held hearings. we provided 250,000 pages of the documents up there. 11 hearings. 20 staff briefings and everyone has found the same thing. this is a tragedy. the question is not what happened that night. the question is what are we going to do to move forward and ensure that this doesn't happen again. congress should act on what the president called for earlier this week to pass legislation to allow us to actually implement all of the recommendations of the independent accountability review board to protect diplomats around the world. there is an inherent level of risk and we he should do what we can to mitigate the risk. >> chris: you didn't answer my
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question. what did the president do that night? >> he was in constant touch with the national security team and kept up to date as things were happening. >> chris: he didn't talk to the secretary of state or the secretary of defense. he didn't talk to the chairman of the joint chiefs. who was he talking to? >> the national security staff. the national security council keep him up up to date. >> chris: was he in the situation room? yes. >> was kept up to date throughout the day. >> chris: do you know know whether -- he don't know what room the president was in on that night and that is a largely irdevelop ran irreleva. the premise is that somehow something could have been done differently. people have looked at this. it as horrible tragedy what happened and we have to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> chris: here is the point, though,. >> the ambassador goes missing and the first ambassador in more than 30 years is kelly wrighted. fouis killed. dozens of americans in
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jeopardy. at president at 4:00 in the afternoon says to the chairman ep loy forces and no forces are deployed. where is he while all this is going on? >> this has been testified to by the -- >> chris: no one nos where he was or who was involved. >> the suggestion is that somehow the president allowed to happen -- >> chris: i want to know what the answer is. >> the assert,s from the republicans that somehow the president allowed this to happen or didn't take action is offensive and there is no evidence to support it. >> chris: i'm simply asking a question. where was he? what did he do? how did he respond? who told them that you can't deploy forces and what was the response? >> the president was in the white house that day and spoke to the secretary of defense and chairman of the joint chiefs earlier and secretary of state later and as events unfolded he was kept up to date. >> chris: here is one of the reasons that people have questions about this. this week the white house released 100-pages of e-mails all of the communications between the various agencies in
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the two days before susan rice came on this and a four other talk shows. i want to put up a couple of e-mails from friday the 14th two days before susan rice made the television appearance. friday, 6:48 p.m. the white house. fyi brennan that is the counter terrorism advisor will have ed details. i'm waiting for those. 7:49 p.m. victoria nuland. talking points could be abused by members of congress to beat the state department for not paying attention to agency warnings so why do we want to feed that either. here is what the president's spokesman jay carney said about all of this last november. take a look. >> the white house and state department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of these two institutions were changing the word consulate to diplomatic facility because consulate was inaccurate. >> chris: that is the problem. he says it was a single adjustment by the white house
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and state. any fair reading of the e-mails just the two i read that is totally misleading. >> i think we should look at now that the e-mails are out and everyone can look at them. one of the problems there is so much controversy is because one of the e-mails was give tonight media to falsely smear the president. >> chris: i'm not talking about that. >> that is an important point here. now, that the e-mails are out -- >> would you agree that the ones i read -- >> the point here is that the e-mails were provided to congress two months ago. looked at them. didn't say a word or bat an eye. provided in the context of the confirmation as cia director. after seeing the e-mails they approved john brennan. it was a large bipartisan vote. theres no issue here. what is clear from the e-mails is three thing debunk all of the conspiracies here. first the idea that there was a protest is put together --
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>> chris: they say the attack was inspired by the protests in cairo. there is no mention of a protest against the video in any of the talking points. >> the idea that the point is that the -- the argument here has been from republicans is that it had nothing to do with the pro tests and that was how somehow fabricated by the administration for political reasons. >> chris: is there a mention about the talking points? there is no demonstration against the video in benghazi? >> what the fact that that happened is what a lot of people -- the second thing in the talking points is that the references to terror and al-qaeda were removed notpy the white house or the state department but by the cia. and this h is why -- >> chris: but the state department was demanding that it be removed. >> the third thing is clear is that the motivation was to try to get it right as best we could in a challenging situation with changing information. and two, to protect the integrity of the investigation. that is why -- in the actual e-mail that was released not
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the doctored version the actual e-mail the white house involvement here is to say we have to protect the equities particularly the investigation. that is what is important is to bring these people to justice and i do think i will say as related to the doctored e-mail the question for the republicans is are they going to be is congressman issa and others as interested in tracking down the republican who doctored the e-mail and released it. >> chris: we will agree to disagree on the e-mails. i have one last question because we are running out of time. some critics say when you look at the confluence of the scandals. ap. benghazi. irs. it raises questions about the president's activist government solutions to problems and they also note how you often the president says that he found out about any problems when all of the rest of us did. take a look. >> i first learned about it from the same news reports that i think most people learned about this. >> he found out about the news reports yesterday on the road. >> everyone knows the president
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did not know about this tactic until he heard about it on -- through the media. >> it was something we found out about a long with all of you. >> chris: how you can people have confidence in the president's programs when so often and this isn't just coming from republican conspiracy, you are seeing this in the mainstream media so often he seems to be a bystander to the problems in his own administration? >> i think that is an absurd proposition. you we are talking about the irs and the department of justice investigation. what would be a real problem is -- >> chris: and fast and furious. >> which is also a department of justice investigation. what would be a real problem would be if he was involved in the things. the cardinal rule is you don't get involved in independent investigations and don't give the appearance of doing so. so that is the right thing. the question here is now when problems come forward how does the president react. in the case of the irs within a few hours of the actual report weeing released he met with the treasury -- being released he met with the treasury department and addressed the
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nation in taking action including asking for the resignation of the acting irs director. you respond to the questions and that is what the president did. >> chris: thanks for taking some of pi my questions. you heard that the white house response to the scandal and controversies. we will sit down with one of the top republicans demanding answers, congressman and former vice presidential nominee, paul ryan. [ female announcer ] doctors trust calcium plus vitamin d to support strong bones. and the brand most recommended by... my doctor. my gynecologist. my pharmacist. citracal. citracal. [ female announcer ] you trust your doctor. doctors trust citracal.
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you knew that but you you
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didn't mention this to the committee. do you hot think that is a very incomplete answer? >> i insured truthfully. >> chris: requesting the acting irs commissioner why he didn't tell congress he found out there was serious questions about the irs targeting spit groups. congressman ryan joins us interest janesville wisconsin to talk about the irs scandal and other problems. welcome back. >> thanks for having me, chris. good morning. >> chris: start with your dough acting commissioner miller. why do you think that he and other top officials did not tell cock when the tell congress when they learned about the political groups? just a bureaucracy protecting itself or something to do with right in the middle of a presidential campaign? >> i don't know the answer to that question and i will not speculate. we will investigate and find the answer to the question. chris, what we do now know is that for roughly two years, the irs was targeting americans
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based upon political beliefs. what we do now know is that the irs misled congress. understand the ways and means committee opened the investigation two years ago. asked repeatedly these questions to the irs. and they withheld the information from congress. so that is what we now know. so we are going to continue this investigation. get to the bottom of this. who knew. when did they know. why did they do this? how high up in government did it go? people have no trust that their government is being impartial. this is arrogance of power. abuse of power to the nth degree and we will get to the bottom of this. i don't know the answer to your question and we going to find out. >> chris: you just heard dan pfeiffer. he says that nobody in the white house knew about this until the ig report was relayed to them in late april or the fact of it was relayed to the white house counsel. do you have any evidence that information about the political targeting of conservatives went either to the treasury
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department or to white house officials before what the white house is saying? >> we don't know the answer to that. this is just the beginning of this investigation. remember, the inspector general just did an audit. they didn't do an investigation like e-mails and things like that. the inspector general told us at the hearing now they are in the midst of an investigation and what we received the other day is an audit which revealed that they misled congress. they were in fact targeting people and their political beliefs. we have credible allegations that derns were harassed and imtim dated and religious groups involved. we are just gentlemenning the investigation and don't know the answer to that. >> chris: what are you saying they have done and what have you saying they haven't done? >> an audit is the measurement of behavior and what actually oil companies cuoccur. they didn't look at e-mails or intent or who was in the chain of information. none of that information
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acquired yet. that is what the eg is doing now and congressional overseers are doing now as well. we have a simple audit. we don't have a thorough investigation. that is not the report we got. that is what is now occurring. we don't have the answers to all those questions and that is what we are going to find out. >> chris: during the hearing on friday commissioner miller that the targeting of conservative groups the tea party and other conservative groups was simply a bureaucratic effort an efficiency move if you will to try to move with the big spike in political groups at the citizens united supreme court ruling were asking for tax exempt status. i want to go to the inspector general report on that. he said that 298 groups received special scrutiny. of those, 96 were tea party type groups. that means then congressman that two thirds of the groups that received special scrutiny were not tea party type groups. >> chris from just this one hearing is
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that groups with the word progressives or organizing, groups with liberal persuasion did not have this targeting. they went through. they were approved. so we know that they specifically targeted people based on their political beliefs. based on people who had suspicion of the size and direction of government. based on tea party and 9 h-12 and the word patriots. we know they targeted people based on political beliefs. allegations based on religious beliefs contrary to the president's positions. credible allegations that donners to the groups were targeted. we know that the irs leaked private confidential information to the public which served political purposes. so there is so much more that we have just uncovered that we do not know the root causes of. to suggest that this is some bureaucratic snafu has already been disproven, chris. the other point is as bad as this is, the person in charge of the bureaucratic snafu you is now in charge of
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implementing obamacare. the irs now is granted huge apartments of unprecedented power over our healthcare and the implementation of obamaquery. this is rotten to the core. this is arrogance. this is big government krone anyism and this is not what hard working taxpayers deserve. people deserve that government they can trust that is honest and impartial. equality before the law and that is not what we are getting here. to try and suggest this is just bureaucratic snafus we already though that is not true. >> chris: congressman, let's turn to benghazi. you say there is no doubt that the obama administration, your words no doubt, epigage engagea coverup of benghazi in their use of the talking points. president obama pointed out that susan rice appeared on the sunday talk shows and just three days later matt olson head of the national counter terrorism center told congress that it was an act of terror.
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take a look at what the president said. >> who executes some sort of coverup or effort to tamp things down for three days? so the whole thing defies logic. >> chris: congressman, does the president have a point there? a three day coverup? >> look, chris, what we now know from congressional testimony is that the number two man in benghazi, the deputy chief of mission informed superiors including the secretary of state that this was a terrorist attack. those of us who had the briefings and have seen the videos know there was no protest involved. and to suggest afterwards that was the result of a spontaneous protest we know is now not the case and so the burden of proof here is on the administration side and it is why did they continue to push this kind of a story when they knew nearly immediately afterwards that that was not the case? so that is really the question. and be the way, they released
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some e-mails, not everything. we have only seen parts of this story. the point here, chris, is not that this is some -- this is not a partisan endeavor. are this is what is the truth and why was the truth intentionally distorted and we want to make sure that something like that never happens again. people deserve honest government and to be told the truth by their government and that is not the kind of thing we are getting here. whether it is the hhs, the irs or whether it is the state department. >> chris: congressman, you say that it is not partisan but the fact is you had a big stake in all this because at the very time that all of the talking points about benghazi came down you were mitt romney's running mate trying to unseed president obama. do you believe, do you believe that the white house purposely misled the american people on benghazi to try to beat you and mitt romney and win the election? >> i don't know the answer to that question. so i'm not even going to speculate. that is what good oversight does. that is what this investigation is all about. which is why did they continue
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to perpetuate the story which they knew was not true you and what was the reason for doing so? so rather than make a conclusion before an investigation has been completed i think we just need to investigate this for the sake of good government. this is what the legislative branch does. that is what the separation of powers is all about, accountability of the executive branch by the legislative branch. i don't want to speculate as to why and what they did until we have all of the information. i think what we know right now is that they were misleading. >> chris: we have less than two minutes left, congressman. when you look at all of the scandals, irs, the subpoena of the ap records, benghazi and as i pointed out to dan pfeiffer, how you often when these things come down the president says well, i just learned about it when everybody else did. what do you think it says about this president in his second term? >> the way i look at this, chris, you mentioned the last campaign. governor romney and i we had to
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campaign against big government in theory. president obama passed the agenda but didn't implement the agenda. we had to campaign against the rhetoric and empty promises. now, we are seeing big government in practice and the arrogance and croneyism in practice in the second term and that is uglier than big government in theory. this is what is disturbing. we had a challenge in campaign against empty rhetoric and now the country is seeing what this kind of big unlimited government does in practice and that is not a pretty picture. this is why we have to do our jobs to bring accountability to the federal government to bring trust back to the hard working taxpayers and unfortunately i think we will go through a painful exercise in the country where we learn that the abuses are occurring and our rights as citizens are being infringed upon. >> chris: thank you so much for it coming in today and talking with us. always plenty of questions he sure to talk -- always a pleasure to talk with you, sir.
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>> thanks, chris. >> chris: coming up next, more on the firestorm at the irs. >> i promise you this the minute i found out about it my main focus is making sure we get the thing fixed. >> chris: we will ask our sunday panel, can the president get out ahead of this scandal?
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i just think the american people have seen what is going on in their government and this is absolutely an overreach and an outrage for all of america. i yield back. >> all right.
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>> chris: republican congressman mike kelly strikes a cord at friday's irs hearing expressing outrage over the political targeting of conservatives. it is time for the sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. kirsten powers. gop guru, karl rove and former democratic congressman dennis kucinich. we have to come up with a better name for you than guru. >> either that or i start wearing saffron rose. >> chris: how you serious is the irs scandal and how do you think the obama administration is did doing the white house in trying to handle it? >> i think it is quite serious. we don't know what its dimension is are and so on. the reason why this is problematic for the administration is one is that this action coincided with the
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political interests of the obama team that it so say the action was taken overwhelmingly against conservative groups. and the second thing is that the administration has had trouble telling the truth about it. as recently as just the other day you had the on his way out acting director saying on the hill argue gowing with the idea that any one was targeted and then, of course, congress asked for information which was not forthcoming when the irs higher ups found out about it in that never and congress was never told. another case where there has been difficulty telling the truth. you put the two things together and you have a combustible mix and this is the stuff from what scandals are made. the same applies might i add pair rennettically to benghazi as well. not a big deal in the middle of the campaign and thed a a menstruation had a terrible time telling -- and the administration had a terrible time delling the truth about
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it. >> chris: kirsten, irs? >> one of the democratic talking points out of the box was this was an irs talking point was there was a big surge that we got in applications and had to create these terms. then the atlantic did a story about this saying this was false. there was no huge surge of applications. so that is not true. second of all, progressive groups were not targeted as far as we know. so this is transparently political. the question is why? who is the person who instigated it? we know that the treasury department now knew about it. they say it was an investigation there is nothing we could do. look, they were having hearings on the hill about this and a lot of this was being brought to light and to me if the white house is really concerned about it does seem like it is something they could tamp down if they wanted to. >> chris: karl i have a couple of questions for you. you were one of the founders of crossroads gps. the superpac. why should a group like crossroads gps which was so deeply involved in politics
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qualify. in and this is through on the left as well with priorities usa. they had a similar group. why should they qualify for tax exempt status as a social welfare group? a lot of people are asking that and didn't whether there was a surge or not i think there was disagreement about that. didn't the irs have a problem getting a handle on what groups did or didn't qualify under the tax code 501 c4 status? >> 401 c4s have been around for a long time and the democrats on the left have used these to do some politics and a lot of social welfare. naacp voter fund ran a $20 million advertising blitz in 200 against george w. bush. the se sierra club, all of them are 501 c 4s. majority of money on social
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welfare and minority on political activity. there are clear defunction deff what constitutes political actions and what doesn't. republicans began to say if it is good enough for them we will duplicate that structure as well and then we get a huge bunch of activity aimed at conservative groups filing the 501 c 4. it allows you to take the contributions and not treat them as income and pay taxes on it. that is the one advantage that this allows you to do. >> chris: and the donors aren't revealed? >> it is a social welfare organization. >> chris: but you that is the advantage. >> this literally goes back to the 1940s when criminal penalties were added for the donorstion be the irs of because southeastern attorney generals were trying to get the donors of the naacp. >> chris: was this just a
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bureaucrat ekimov as you heard commissioner -- bureaucratic move or efficiency move or political targeting? >> there is toad suggest it was political targeting. you have to look at the context. they may be called social welfare but they are political organizations. the question is does the irs have the ability any more to audit the organizations. that is a problem, chris. because we are now looking at whether or not anybody can put together a 501 c 4 after citizens united and be able under the agis of social welfare engage in blatant political activity. what happened with the irs is wrong and this needs to be condemned. we have to be careful about getting the free pass for all of the people in the 501 c 4 business of social welfare. >> chris: running out of time, brit. to make matters even more touchy for the obama white house the woman who used to be in charge of the tax exempt
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division sarah hall ingram now has a new job and republicans are jumping all over it. take a look. >> turns out that the irs official who oversaw the operation under scrutiny for targeting conservatives is now in charge of the irs obamacare office. you can't make this stuff up. >> brit work public doubt tion according to the polls growing about obamacare as it gets closer to implementation this isn't going to help. >> and think about what outgoing commissioner miller said on the hill when asked why he said he wasn't personally he is on his way out. involved in doing this and didn't bring this about how he has to be held accountable for it. if he does surely then presumably she does and her promotion into the new and increasingly important job is a little hard to defend and i don't see how it can be sustained. she may have known nothing about all this but it was happening on her watch in a unit which she supervised. if he is gone she should be gone. >> chris: 30 seconds.
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>> dan pfeiffer said she was ignore rant of all happening so should be allowed to be in charge of obama care. she was completely ignore rant of that is going on beneath and then that is why she should be responsible for new unit. >> chris: what do all of the prospects tell us about the obama agenda in the second term?
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nothing dissolves the bonds between the people and their government live the arrogance of power here in washington. and that is what the american people are seeing today from the obama administration. remarkable arrogance. >> chris: house speaker john boehner suggesting the pr this week
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with the irs, benghazi and subpoena of the ap phone records make a bigger point to his approach to governing. that is the narrative that republicans are are pushing that ronn supports advocates activist government solutions and the scandals, irs, ap, benghazi show the danger of big intrusive government. how much traction do you think that has? >> i think there is a more fundmental problem the administration faces that is a the credibility. each one of these things involves its credibility. the president is responsible in part for the irs bisseting the tone. it was he who went to bowie state university and called the 501 c 4s a "threat to democracy." i could imagine some low level bureaucrat saying let's get revved up about this.
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it was his words on benghazi that got him into trouble. through his agent susan rice saying this is the responsibility of an antimuslim video which provoked a spontaneous reaction in benghazi. credibility matters and that is now starting to be reflected a little bit in the polls. a pugh poll out that says -- less than the normal number of people are paying attention to benghazi but of those that have been watching it, 37% say it proves the president about's honesty and 40% say it shows he is being dishonest with the people. this is more problematic than arrogance of power. >> chris: i want to go back to arrogance of power. congressman cu kucinich after a week like this won't more persons see government as the problem and not the solution? >> the first problem we have here is there is some that can only see the wrongs of the
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president. we still haven't had president bush for example account for iraq and all of theand all of dead soldiers. >> they had a bipartisan commission. >> we went to war. where were the weapons of mass destruction. >> stop depending obama by defending president bush. that gets really tiresome. >> you can't just attack president obama and look look at what president bush. >> silverman robb commission looked at it from top to bottom. move on. >> chris: move on in any case. what is your point about government? >> my point is president obama hasn't done anything about the unemployment problem. we have massive amount of people out of worked a the oxygen being sucked out by the scandals may limit the white house but he has to be held accountable for not recrating the jobs. 8 million people out of work. another 8 million people working part time and shouldn't be.
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as far as government being too big, a international security state, too big. military which gros abroad and creates, too big. >> chris: let me pick up on that because the white house is putting out the word and did over the course of the weekend that the president dehis problems and he will deal with the problems is determined to pursue you his agenda on immigration. on jobs. on the budget. on energy. but again, as somebody who has been around awhile in the middle of the scandals it is hard -- >> it is radio silence. happens in campaigns, too when you have a blunder. it is all the news coverage is about and sucks up all of the oxygen in the the capital city and hard to move an agenda forward. also this point you are are be ginning to see the line of defense emerging on the three cases which basically is yeah, we screwed up. there is a -- on the cbs news interesting story based on conversation with senior administration officials in which they are talking about benghazi and what they did and didn't do that night. we should have sent the
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emergency team. we screwed up. an income pa tense defense. the same thing with the irs. bundling in the cincinnati office is blamed. merging with regard to the monitoring of the phone calls of the ap reporters. and that is that somebody overdid it. overcooked and went too far. the problem with all of that is that at the core of liberalism is the idea that government is a great mediating force acting on behalf of the national interest -- of th the national electorate and that government agencies can and should do the fine work and are capable of doing it. when you have three scandals affecting different agencies of government, different people and the white house and it is all chalked up to bungling it diminishes the argument for that side of the political
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side. >> chris: kirsten what about that argument and that is what the republicans are saying now. the president wants big government solutions activist government solutions and this shows government has serious problems. >> well, i first of all, i think there is a difference between activist and big government. i agree with obama that the government can be an ultimate force for good in the world. i don't think any of this is an argument against liberalism. these are all bad behavior by people in the government. and each of these situations. nothing about benghazi imputes anything bad upon liberalism. this is specific to the administration mishandling. >> chris: how you about the idea of the irs hand 8ing the rollout of obama care? >> they will oversee whether a person has complied with the mandate. they will be doing some -- >> ence forcement. >> but they are not looking at people's medical records. this idea that they will be overseeing the health scare incorrect. -- healthcare is incorrect.
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it is a narrative that will work with people who want that to be the narrative i think. this is bad for liberalism. when obama came in there already was no trust of the government. it was 17% was the number of people that trusted the historict which is a whose low. the lowest in history. he was coming in already with a heavy lift. >> chris: there was a story in the papers over the weekend that the white house chief of staff dennis mcdonough met with top aides and said i want you to spent no more than 10% of your time on any of the scandals. you have been in the middle of the scandals in the bush white house. how consuming are they. >> good luck. it will consume as much time as it needed. we will have three or four weeks or five or six weeks of hearing and debate back and forth on capitol hill and it will consume time. the narrative of not being able to get things done.
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it is not just the government cannot get things done. it is president obama can't get things done. 57% of american people thought the president was able to get things done after the election and 37% said he was not. after the year thus far in the budget and sequestration and all of this the administration has fallen flat it is now 49% say he can get things done, down 8. with the coming battle over the debt ceiling and budget and all this i think this is going to get worse and not better. >> chris: you have a poll for everything, don't you? >> i only offered up two, i think today. >> chris: but just appropriate. thank you, panel. see you next week. check out panel plus where the group picks up with the discussion on our website fox news sunday .com. follow us on twitter @ "fox news sunday." up next, our power player of the week.
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>>. >> chris: they've been part of the washington scene since the '80s at the center of the biggest scandals. undoubtedly you have seen them but chances are you know little about them. here is up close and personal our power players of the week. >> we get hired because we are firm of washington and we understand congress. we understand the justice department. >> chris: there they were in a big congressional hearing, husband and wife legal tell of joe degetta and victoria
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toensing. >> chris: do you like the high profile cases. it's fun but it's professionally important. these things matters. >> chris: she worked for the reagan justice department. he was the u.s. attorney who prosecuted corruption inside the administration, a former d.c. mayor of marion berry. >> great memories of public service and kind of thing you take it with you for the rest of your life. you can never duplicate that. it's absolutely wonderful. >> that fits the bill. >> chris: since 1988 they have been in private practice together, handling big cases and commenting on others. >> he controls a lot of things. >> you like appearing on tv? >> yes, but most always about somebody else's cases. >> chris: they met at rally at a
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republican convention. >> i had 30 pins with me i was selling a big three dollars a apiece. >> she said how much, three dollars a piece ander said i would take them all. >> they had a wedding reception in the senate caucus room. >> chris: how do the two of you get along? >> great. >> we travel the world together. >> they are as well known as for his singing. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> chris: there is no time for that now. representing two benghazi whistleblowers and they think more to come. >> the got involved after hearing one of their national security contacts the obama administration was lying. >> they said, it's not correct. so i cared about it from that moment on.
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>> chris: they are one of the tournz real power couples and they thoroughly boy it. >> to know that you had the confidentiality not only lawyer to lawyer but husband and wife the cross-section of washington, d.c. is the life blood of the city and to be in the middle of is it absolutely spectacular. >> he was confirmed bachelor before he met victoria. whether he as softened him in the years, he said he still has rough edges. now this program note. next week a special interview with former senate leader bob dole as he approaches 90. he looks back to his extraordinary life of service to the country. that is it for today. have a great week and we'll see you next fox news sunday.
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>> paul: this week on the journal editorial report. irs under fire over targeting of conservative groups. very same agency ramping up for the obamacare rollout. could the taxman play politics were your health insurance and up roar after reporters' phone records are seized. the administration says american lives were at risk but is that reason enough? inexcusable and americans have a right to be angry about it and i am angry about that. i will not tolerated this behavior in any agency but especiay