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Darrell Issa Calls White House Press Secretary A 'Paid Liar'

Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, took a heavy shot at White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today on CNN.

Issa said Carney was a "paid liar." He said Carney was "making things up" when he said the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups was undertaken by "rogue" local employees.

The review, said Issa, was "coordinated directly from headquarters in Washington."

In a press conference on May 22, Carney said he had no information to contradict an inspector general report that found "no evidence of outside influence or pressure from higher-ups."

Issa tried to contradict that assertion by releasing snippets of a transcript from an interview the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which he chairs, conducted with a "Cincinnati IRS employee."

During the interview, the employee says his supervisor asked him to pull applications for non-profit status filed by Tea Party groups.

The committee asked the employee: "Did [your supervisor] give you any indication of the need for the search, any more context?"

The employee answers: "He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases."

Later in the transcript the employee couches an answer implying that they did not know for sure if the direction to target Tea Party groups came directly from Washington.

In the transcript of an interview with another "more senior IRS Cincinnati employee," the person says Washington micromanaged the process.

CNN's Candy Crowley pressed Issa to release full transcripts of the interviews. He said he would, just not now.

The White House has not responded to Issa's claims.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.