'This Week' Transcript: White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer

STEPHANOPOULOS: So let's move on. What about questions about influence the other way, or communications the other way from the White House to IRS, or Treasury. Rob Portman -- Senator Portman is coming up on the program and he's written a letter to President Obama wanting to know what, if any, private pressure was exerted by the White House or Treasury Department's political appointees on the IRS regarding the standards for approving and monitoring the tax-exempt organizations, particularly these 501(c)(4) groups.

Those are those groups that have -- that have gotten all the attention. Any communication from the White House?

PFEIFFER: No, but don't take my word for it, take the word of the independent inspector general, who said that he found no evidence that there was any influence from anywhere outside of the IRS.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, none at all? So you have no problem...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ...turning over any communications, and you believe there are none?

PFEIFFER: No. No. Hold -- we are going to work with Congress, as the president said in -- in legitimate oversight. What we're not going to participate in is partisan fishing expeditions designed to distract from the real issues at hand.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, does that mean when -- when Senator Portman is asking for -- for documents, emails, any communication, you're not going to comply with that request?

PFEIFFER: Well, I -- we'll look at any requests that -- that Congress puts forward. And we'll work with them. Our hope is that they do this in a bipartisan way to actually try to solve the problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But bottom line, no communication as far as you know from the White House to the IRS about this targeting?

PFEIFFER: Absolutely -- no, absolutely not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: At the hearings on Friday, the acting director -- outgoing Acting Director of the IRS, Mr. Miller, was asked about the legality of this targeting, the special scrutiny for the conservative groups. Here is the questioning.


PRICE: Do you believe it is illegal for employees of the IRS to create lists, to target individual groups and citizens in this country?

MILLER: I think the Treasury inspector general indicated that it might not be, but others will be able to tell that.

PRICE: What do you believe?

MILLER: I don't believe it is. I don't believe it should happen.


STEPHANOPOULOS: What does the president believe? Does the president believe that would be illegal?

PFEIFFER: I can't speak the law -- the law here, but the law is irrelevant. The activity was outrageous and inexcusable, and it was stopped and needs to be -- we need it to be fixed, so we can ensure it never happens again.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't really mean the law is irrelevant, do you?

PFEIFFER: What -- 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. 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.

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