White House Explains: Obama Didn't Know What He Knew When Everyone Else Knew What He Should Have Known

Tyler Durden's picture

Yesterday, when we reported that as a result of new disclosures regarding the timing of who learned what, but most importantly when, in the White House regarding the IRS persecution (if not prosecution) of conservative groups, we made it quite clear that the narrative enacted by the White House, which could simply be summarized as "we'll make it up as we go along", was nothing more than damage control in total disarray. Because once caught lying, the best solution usually is to stop lying and tell the truth, tying up all those loose ends that eventually lead to Watergate-type outcomes unless addressed early on. No such luck here.

Instead, the White House has doubled down on its crash and burn storyline and in doing so is merely guaranteeing that the very same conservatives, and all others who would rather not have a very political IRS on their back, who have smelled blood are not going to let go until someone at the very top takes responsibility for what, together with the AP-fiasco, is rapidly becoming Obama's Nixonian scandal.

Sure enough, here is The Hill with the White House's official explanation for what happened: "White House officials were notified of a Treasury Department inspector general report on the IRS but elected not to tell President Obama about it." In other words, neither the IRS chief was aware of what is going on at the IRS (recall the countless "I don't knows" and "I don't recalls") and apparently, neither was the president briefed on what everyone beneath him at the White House knew weeks in advance of the premeditated IRS leak. And in fact, it turns out it was someone else's executive duty to make the decision what the chief executive of the nation is and isn't allowed to know in the first pace. So, maybe we are confused, but just how is Obama the "president" again?

For more on how when the White House finds itself in a hole, it merely keeps on digging and digging, we go to The Hill:

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough and other senior officials knew of the general nature of the report but decided to keep the president in the dark about the report’s finding that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny


Carney said it was the White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler’s judgment that the matter should not be told to the president, and that she conveyed this sentiment to senior staff.


Carney defended the decision, saying conclusions often change in the final stages of inspector general reports, and that it would’ve been inappropriate for the White House to involve itself in an ongoing investigation.


 “To be clear, we knew the subject of the investigation and the nature of some of the potential findings,” Carney said.


“But we did not have a copy of the draft report, we did not know the details, the scope, or the motivation surrounding the misconduct. And we did not know who was responsible. Most importantly, the report was not final and still very much subject to change.”


Carney said that upon learning about the report, McDonough “rightly chose not to take action” to avoid being seen as intervening.


That’s what any White House should do,” Carney said at the daily White House briefing

So according to the head spin doctor of the administration, what the White House should do is serve as a buffer for Obama, who should take all the credit for any and all correct decisions, but have heard no evil, seen no evil, and spoken no evil, when the implications could be potentially impeachable. Come to think of it, if we were running an unaccountable enterprise, we would do the same.

As for Ms. Ruemmler, or the women who decided what the president of the US should and shouldn't know, or in other words, his superior, should she perhaps be culpable of at least something?

Lanny Davis, a former special counsel under President Bill Clinton, wrote last week that Ruemmler should resign if she knew about the probe of the IRS and failed to tell the president.

Davis, writing for The Hill, argued that a White House counsel must have a keen ear for politics, and that it would have been better to tell Obama immediately of the facts of the case.

"If Ms. Ruemmler did know about this IRS story and didn’t inform the president immediately, then, respectfully, that must mean she didn’t appreciate fully the mammoth legal and political implications for the U.S. government as well as the American people of a story involving IRS officials abusing power and possibly violating criminal laws," Davis wrote.

Carney said Ruemmler and McDonough had only “top line” knowledge of the report’s findings. He argued that some in Congress, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), had been similarly briefed on the upcoming report, but chose to sit on the information so as not to interfere.

“Our whole point has been that knowing this was coming does not change the fact that there was nothing we could have or should have done about it,” Carney said, adding that it was wrong to say “that somehow the president should have been notified.”

The bottom line is that it appears the president is nothing but a figurehead, at least according to the White House's own take on things:

Carney said the president wasn’t upset that he had to learn about the report through the media, rather than from his advisers.


“The president believes and has faith that it is entirely appropriate that nobody here took any action to intervene,” Carney said. “Some matters are not appropriate to convey to him, and this is one of them.”

In other words, Executive-In-Chief... except when being Janitor-In-Chief leads to a more palatable outcome. Ironically we doubt the public will be very upset when they too learn, ostensibly through the wiretapped media, that Obama was and is nothing but a charismatic expert at reading a teleprompter, and that those who make the actual decisions, including what the "president" should and shouldn't know, are sitting comfortably, far behind the curtains.

That said it would not surprise us if the broader US population, engrossed in its Obamaphones and Tumblr blog accounts, has already long forgotten not only about this scandal, but that the whole premise of a functioning democracy is to have operating check and balances to those in charge. Which by definition means holding them accountable and responsible when such travesties of justice as those exposed in the past two weeks come to light.

Or maybe, once again, it will all be just Fabrice Tourre's fault...

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kliguy38's picture

Let's all remain calm and not jump to conclusions, name calling accomplishes little......now......having said this ........foch all these lying scumbag bastards and may hell show them no mercy.

Troll Magnet's picture

I trust these people to run my life. I trust these people to run my life. I trust these people to run my life. I trust these people to run my life. I trust these people to run my life. I trust these people to run my life. I trust these people to run my life. 



SilverIsKing's picture

Who benefitted most by this activity?

And that's your answer because anyone who was pulling this shit on conservatives/tea party/patriots/etc, would have been so proud of what they were doing and would have wanted a pat on the back from their Master in Chief.

Not a chance in hell they kept this from him and eventually, someone will roll over.

Manthong's picture

The good news is that as Clinton set the standard for little girls everywhere by declaring BJ’s not to be sex anymore, Obama has set the standard for all of us by making the IRS and the law irrelevant.



Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Did you guys ever see the chart that shows where in the Military Intelligence hierarchy the President sits?

Something like 21 levels from having top security clearance! 


Big Slick's picture

Do we still run politicians out of town on a rail? 



knukles's picture

I wonder just how dirty that kid Carney feels every night when he goes home?

post turtle saver's picture

I visualize him cowering in the corner of his shower with the water running, rocking back and forth while he weeps and sobs uncontrollably.

ShrNfr's picture

That would imply that he has a conscience. I strongly doubt that he does.

nope-1004's picture

But when the President of the company is selling bullshit, he/she/company doesn't last long.  Bills can't be paid with bullshit.


Stackers's picture

Why dont we get Valery Jaret up on the stand in Congress and see what that ex-slum lord knew and when.

Meat Hammer's picture

Blood going down the shower drain a-la Leaving Las Vegas.

CrimsonAvenger's picture

Very nice. If WB7 doesn't jump on that imagery it will be the greatest injustice in the history of all mankind.

WhackoWarner's picture

The only way this guy cowers is at the thought that he may NOT be able to deflect responsibility.  Even then the revolving door will save.  There is not one single bit of morality left in political USA. (so excuse, nothing left with any power).


Obama?  Sheesh the world looked to him.  What an absolute farce and dupe and idiot he is.  Shame is a foreign concept these days south of the 49th.  But we do no better here. We got the idiot Harper.

nmewn's picture

"I wonder just how dirty that kid Carney feels every night when he goes home?"

He doesn't, he's used to dealing with hallucinations and altered states of reality...he was, afterall, Bidens mouthpiece before he took this job ;-)

But ladies & gentlemen, we have a real opportunity here IMO.

We all know the tax code is used by BOTH parties to reward their cronies and punish their enemies when they are in the drivers seat.

Now is the time, while the iron is hot, to burn the current tax code to ash...to debate (and in my opinion) implement the Fair Tax or a Flat Tax. Strip them of the power to use a citizens taxes for their own purpose, that is to confer favor or punishment.

These opportinities don't come around very often where the state, in all its bureaucratic glory, is on full display.

RockyRacoon's picture

This isn't enough for what you propose.  The IRS agents will have to bludgeon a family to death on their own front porch and the agents seen making off with all the family's belongings -- on Youtube.   Then they will imagine looking at the the thought of the remote possibility of abolishing the IRS... maybe.

nmewn's picture

lol...you're probably right Rocky.

But if we're going to have a federal government, it will need to be funded. I could care less myself but there's a lot of people who (for whatever reason) want it.

Whatever we decide, it can't go on like this...tweaking around the edges...as they keep on trying to mollify the masses just one more time.

Poundsand's picture

Would have to be much worse.  At Waco Janet Reno was able to actually burn 76 people alive including 17 children and no one even went to jail.  Now having thought about it, it will never happen.

knukles's picture

US Army troopies were used in that operation

gatorengineer's picture

how could one feel dirty doing what they percieve as Gods work?

Anusocracy's picture


It fits their morality.

WhackoWarner's picture

Oh really? Whose God?  Wall Street? Short term gain? The interpretations i get on my radar of this
Christian God that is touted are so hit and miss you wonder if anybody actually read the book.  Sometimes the Reader's Digest or the movie version may not be quite true.


Christianity sucks. Islam is a farce. Judaism is a joke.  What happened to using our own brains? Freedom ot thought and choice. Christianity has bred nothing but war (class or otherwise), abuse (class or children) and lies.

Anusocracy's picture

Morality (moral behavior) has its roots in our primate past.

Religion, like government, just uses morality for its own purposes.

SgtSchultz's picture

I would love to be a fly on the wall as their "writers" dream up new talking points like a bunch of SNL writers, reminds me of Animal House:

Flounder: Will that work?
Otter: Hey, it's gotta work better than the truth.

Meat Hammer's picture

They elected not to tell him what he already knew.  

DeadFred's picture

Remember the story that broke at the same time. If someone rolls over and goes to , let's say the AP, they know they will be traced. If traced they can be droned, renditioned to Gitmo or simply disappear. Many of the sheep in this country don't believe that could happen but if you are in the know enough to do the rolling over you also know what the regime can and will do. No one will roll over on this is my guess.

Keegan11's picture

This is a helluva good point. Intimidate witnesses immediately - this shit is fucked man !

candyman's picture

The president and all members take an oath. Lets review it and see where the Good 'Ol US of A stands today under Oboma's leadership.

"[T]he duty imposed upon him to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.’ The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose." Story wrote further that if the president does not honor his oath, his office "will be utterly worthless for...the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people."

Members of Congress and commissioned military personnel are also required by statute to "solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic [emphasis added]: that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion: So help me God."

RockyRacoon's picture

Fat lotta good that oath has done so far.  Why now should they be expected to uphold it?

Swarmee's picture

Not to put you one the spot, Rocky, so rhetorically: what worse fate does an oath-taker face than one who simply offends against the same principles sans oath? My observation is none. No difference. So what is the worth of the oath? None as deterrent. Bring back accountability to one's honor, livelihood, and family. Let all oath-breakers be shunned by society and they and their family unable to even buy bread, assuming they survive their conviction in the law, and I guarantee honor will return to posts claiming such. Until then, expect all oaths to be broken with impunity for they who break them know their is no just recourse in modern day.

RockyRacoon's picture

Okay, I'm willing to shun them.  But other voters seem to keep putting them back in office ad infinitum!

Swarmee's picture

Exactly. I hope you dont mind i took your comment merely as a launching point. Without a legal encoding, there is no deterrent. These people are not stupid, they know the rules and tiptoe around them as closely as plausible. Time to prosecute according to the spirit of the law, if the letter of the law is not clear then it needs adjusting, by us, the governed.

What part of "shall make no law" or "shall not infringe" is not clear? Apparently some folks need an education in the difference between 'should not' and 'shall not'. The point being that if we have allowed loopholes then let us, the people, the true sovereigns and conveyors of any power over us, define them clearly and enforce our intent with prejudice. We did not elect members of our populace to constrain us for the benefit of the elected, we elected them to represent us; the lesson has been lost on those given power. The power to rule is GRANTED, not inherent. Let those with the hubris to abuse it be educated in its origins.

RockyRacoon's picture

The Constitution dilutionists will always fall back on the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" rule.

Doncha know.

WhackoWarner's picture

Not only me but maybe the whole wide world is waiting wiith baited breath for all of this to become a bit more than talk.

When is the American public going to wake up?  I will buy futures on that bet....100:1  Now figure what side I take.

Jim in MN's picture

We have only to ask:

'Cui Bozo?'

jimmytorpedo's picture

What Troll Magnet meant to say;

"I trust these people to RUIN my life, I trust these people to RUIN my life,..."

Keynesian Mess's picture

Thought I'd let you know that you mis-spelled "ruin" 7 times.

General Decline's picture

He only misspelled it once. Cut & paste misspelled is 6 times.

Cobra's picture

Haha! +1, I was gonna "fix" it, glad I scrolled down!

jimmytorpedo's picture

I should learn to scroll down.

I recognize that i'm impulsive.

Go Tribe's picture

I want Congress to be my doctor.

Colonel Klink's picture

I've never seen someone miss the "I" in ruin so often.  You must have cut and pasted the misspelling over and over.  I blame the flawed keyboard.



EDIT:  Damn you Keynesian Mess you beat me to it.  I need to refresh articles more often.

Sudden Debt's picture


but I think...

That Obama....


old naughty's picture

Or, he doesn't give a shit...

after all, ants are under the boots, no?

knukles's picture

Is it on ESPN? 
Solves that, don't it?

Big Slick's picture

I HONESTLY think this guy is baked most of the time.  

They don't call him Choom for nothing.

He admits to being a cocaine user in his autobiography.

Being POTUS must get you unbelievable sh!t