Carney: Senior White House staff knew of IRS probe

WASHINGTON — The White House says White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler was first informed about an audit of the IRS’ inappropriate targeting of conservative groups on April 24 and that she notified senior staff, including Denis McDonough, the chief of staff to President Barack Obama. White House press secretary Jay Carney says Ruemmler “appropriately” decided not to tell Obama at the time because the audit was ongoing.

The audit by a Treasury Department inspector general found that IRS employees singled out groups with names like “tea party” and “patriots” for special scrutiny that delayed their applications for tax exempt status.

Carney said no one in the White House intervened in the inspector general’s audit. He says Obama did not learn of the probe until there were news reports about it.

Carney noted that the practice by the IRS workers ended in May 2012.

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