White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer didn’t take his Sunday off, instead going on a marathon of five show appearances to discuss the myriad of scandals.
During his TV tour, Pfeiffer was grilled on questions that have been raised over the past week during his tour of shows, which included ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Perhaps the most controversial remark made by Pfeiffer was made on “This Week,” when Pfeiffer called the legality of the Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records “irrelevant.”
“I can’t speak the law — the law here, but the law is irrelevant,” Pfeiffer said.
When questioned on his comment by host George Stephanopoulos, Pfeiffer clarified that he meant the DOJ’s actions were wrong whether they were legal or not.
“What I mean is that whether it’s legal, or illegal is — is not important to the fact that it — that, the conduct as a matter. The Department of Justice said they’re looking into the legality of this,” Pfeiffer said. “The president is not going to wait for that. We have to make sure it doesn’t happen again regardless of how that turns out.”
Pfeiffer took to Twitter shortly after the interview to make sure his statement wasn’t taken out of context.
Before folks quoting me out of context get too far ahead of themselves, of course the law matters, IRS conduct is wrong even if legal
— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) May 19, 2013
That didn’t stop a storm of Tweets questioning not only Pfeiffer’s competence, but also Obama’s decision to send him on the shows.
WH’s Dan Pfeiffer is a nice man. It’s abusive of Obama to send him on Sunday shows with no more to say than he had today. Lame answers.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 19, 2013
Later in the show, Pfeiffer called for a bipartisan effort to “solve the problem” and to make sure future incidents would be prevented.
But the top aide wasn’t done calling things “irrelevant.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” Pfeiffer called the president’s location during the Benghazi attack an “irrelevant fact” while being questioned by host Chris Wallaceon the President’s whereabouts.
Wallace: But with due respect, you didn’t answer my question. What did the president do that night?
Pfeiffer: He was kept — he was in constant touch that night with his national security team and kept up to date with the events as they were happening.
Wallace: When you say his national security team, he didn’t talk to the Secretary of State, except for the one time when the first attack was over. He didn’t talk to the secretary of defense. He didn’t talk to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Who was he talking to?
Pfeiffer: He was talking to his national security staff, his National Security Council, the people who keep him up to date about briefings as they happen.
Wallace: Was he in the Situation Room?
Pfeiffer: He was kept up to date throughout the day.
Wallace: Do you not know whether he was in the Situation Room?
Pfeiffer: I don’t remember what room the President was in on that night. And that’s a largely irrelevant fact.
Pfeiffer was visibly rattled by many of the questions on the shows, and offered little new information, echoing earlier statements from the White House condemning the actions of the IRS and DOJ while saying that facts need to be gathered from investigations before drawing any conclusions.
Hopefully Pfeiffer found time for some R & R.