It turns out the Benghazi talking points WERE heavily edited. http://abcn.ws/ZTqV1C
It turns out the IRS WAS targeting Tea Party groups. http://abcn.ws/10xw9fX
Which is not to say that there is an underworld of politicos plotting at all times.
But the White House trying to downplay the extent of edits, in hindsight, looks misleading.
Searching for possible tax exempt scofflaws using the words "Tea Party" and "Patriot" was never ever going to be a good idea.
Jay Carney must have felt like he was under twin attack when his briefing started three hours late this afternoon. But he chose his battles. He condemned the IRS development and agreed it should be investigated.
But on Benghazi, Carney did not back down in the face of withering questions from ABC's Jonathan Karl.
Last fall Carney had said Benghazi talking points had undergone just stylistic changes before they were spouted by US Amb. to the UN Susan Rice spouted them on Sunday shows. Karl this morning unearthed the dozen revisions they actually went through.
"What I was referring to was the talking points that the CIA drafted and sent around to which one change was made, and I accept that 'stylistic' may not precisely describe a change of one word to another," Carney said told Karl during a combative exchange.
"Ultimately, these were intelligence community talking points," Carney later added about the talking points he said. "The intelligence community has to sign off of and believe represent the intelligence community's view of what they knew at that time about what happened."
More on Jon Karl's Exclusive: Benghazi Talking Points Underwent 12 Revisions, Scrubbed of Terror Reference- UPDATE: A source familiar with the White House emails on the Benghazi talking point revisions say that State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland was raising two concerns about the CIA's first version of talking points, which were going to be sent to Congress: 1) The talking points went further than what she was allowed to say about the attack during her state department briefings; and, 2) she believed the CIA was attempting to exonerate itself at the State Department's expense by suggesting CIA warnings about the security situation were ignored. http://abcn.ws/ZTqV1C (Jonathan Karl)
More on the IRS "Tea Party" and "Patriot" Scrutiny - Conservative groups have rejected an Internal Revenue Service apology for unjustifiably scrutinizing tax-exempt conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle. The IRS apology has seemingly validated conservatives' fears of politically motivated regulation. Lois Lerner, the director the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt organizations, said that organizations had been given additional scrutiny if their applications included the words "Tea Party" or "patriot." The practice originated with "low-level" employees in Cincinnati, according to an Associated Press report. http://abcn.ws/10xw9fX (Abby Phillip)
John McCain Wants You to Watch More 'Game of Thrones'- "The Maverick" is back. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has introduced a bill in the Senate that would let you get HBO without paying for the DFH Network, defying a powerful telecom industry that is vociferously opposed to allowing pay per channel options. The "Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013? would let consumers buy cable channels "a la carte," something the Netflix and Hulu generation has been clamoring for to the trepidation of telecom giants. http://abcn.ws/16mGR09 (Abby Phillip)
Army Leaders: Sequestration Could Hurt Fight Against Sexual Assault- The secretary of the Army and the Army chief of staff have told senators that sequestration could hurt efforts to deal with sexual assaults within their branch of the military. In a written statement submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 23, Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said the across-the-board budget cuts mandated as part of the sequester could hurt their Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program "from slowing hiring actions, to delaying lab results which hinders our ability to provide resolution for victims." http://abcn.ws/179k1Jr (Sarah Parnass)
State Department Orders 3D Gun Plans Offline- A non-profit corporation has removed plans for a 3D-printed firearm from its website, saying it was ordered to do so by the U.S. State Department. " #DEFCAD has gone dark at the request of the Department of Defense Trade Controls. Take it up with the Secretary of State," the Twitter account associated with the nonprofit Defense Distributed tweeted Thursday. http://abcn.ws/15wB0pz (Luis Martinez, Sarah Parnass)
Justice Department Complies With FOIA By Releasing Completely Redacted Document - http://abcn.ws/10ALPUu
Tune In Sunday - On This Week - Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., with ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz.
Powerhouse roundtable includes Matthew Dowd, Jonathan Karl and Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, author of the new book, "Fighting for Common Ground."
Plus, in a special Mother's Day Sunday Spotlight, Martha Raddatz speaks with moms on Capitol Hill -Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and soon-to-be mother Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash. - http://abcn.ws/11qQaey
Scary NYT Headline - Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long-Feared Milestone - The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years. Scientific monitors reported that the gas had reached an average daily level that surpassed 400 parts per million - just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering." http://nyti.ms/ZOaPmq
Heritage Immigration Study Author Resigns Under Fire for Race Comments - The Heritage Foundation is distancing itself from the co-author of its report that slapped a $6.3 trillion price tag on immigration reform and drew criticism from other think tanks. Jason Richwine, one of the controversial report's two authors, has come under fire because of arguments about race he made in the last decade. So now, Heritage is disowning some of Richwine's work as the Senate Judiciary Committee today considers the "Gang of Eight" immigration reform proposal for the first time. http://abcn.ws/12iBTNY (Sarah Parnass)
Charlie Crist Supports Gay Marriage, Raises Gubernatorial Speculation- Ex-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was once known for being a staunch Republican, but these days he's better known for jumping between party lines. Earlier this week, the Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat posted a Facebook update in support of Delaware's marriage equality legislation. http://abcn.ws/10zFZmg (Alisa Wiersema)
Joe Biden Spends a Lot of Time With Obama, and Other Highlights From His Rolling Stone Interview- Rolling Stone has published an interview with Vice President Joe Biden, and it has about as many moments of pure Bidenness as one would expect from an hour-long chat between the outspoken VP and a music magazine. Biden got into some policy talk, and he dropped some vintage Bidenisms. (The word "Jesus" was used at least once, as was "Lord.") http://abcn.ws/Yzms39 (Chris Good)