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Obama slams IRS over targeting conservative groups


09:03, May 16, 2013

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Xinhua)-- U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that findings of the investigation report on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal was "intolerable and inexcusable."

In a statement, Obama said that the IRS personnel who improperly targeted conservative groups failed to apply the law in a fair and impartial way.

"Regardless of how this conduct was allowed to take place, the bottom line is, it was wrong," he said.

Obama will instruct Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to hold accountable those responsible for these failures and to make sure that recommendations included in the report are implemented quickly to avoid such conducts in the future.

He made the comments after reviewing the Treasury Department watchdog's report on the IRS scandal. The report found that the IRS employees used inappropriate criteria to identify for review some conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

In a separate statement, Lew said that he "was deeply troubled" by the finding that the IRS personnel used unacceptable terms and criteria to determine if certain groups should receive additional scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status.

Lew said those actions, though not found influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS, were inappropriate and didn't reflect the high standards which he expected and the public deserved.

At a press briefing earlier Tuesday, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said he was confident that no one in the White House was involved in the improper conduct.

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