Pres. Obama held a joint news conference late this morning with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the East Room.
The opening remarks were about the relationship between the two nations, issues of trade and security, but reporters wanted to know more about the IRS targeting scandal and the flawed talking points following the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya last September.
The AP’s Julie Pace asked about both. “If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous,” said the president.
As for Benghazi, Obama was more vigorous in his response that the current storyline is politically motivated. “The whole issue of talking points, frankly throughout this process, has been a sideshow,” said the president. “Suddenly three days ago this gets spun up as if there’s something new to the story. There’s no ‘there’ there,” said the president.
“The fact this keeps on getting churned out frankly has a lot to do with political motivations.”
The BBC’s James Landale got the second and last question and asked about an EU trade deal and Syria.
The cable news networks all carried the news conference between the British P.M and President Obama. NBC was the only broadcaster to carry the newser on the TV network. The soon-to-be NBC News president is herself a British broadcaster.