During today's contentious press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney categorically denied that anyone inside the White House knew about the IRS' policy of applying heightened scrutiny to conservative organizations prior to late April of this year. Minutes later, he was forced to walk back his own assertion, instead claiming that he personally was "not aware" of anyone at the White House having knowledge of that IRS practice:
This was a significant and telling mistake. The only straight answer of the afternoon was hastily revised under antagonistic questioning from a skeptical press corps. This looks sloppy and slippery at best, suspicious at worst. Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer explains how and why Carney made a serious misstep:
How can Jay say w certainty no one at WH, or on political staff, spoke w IRS?Has he interviewed everyone? Who did he ask?— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 14, 2013
I tried to warn Jay (in an earlier tweet). " Did anyone know" is an impossible question. Jay fell into the trap.— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 14, 2013
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography