Sharpton and Milbank Dismiss Obama Culpability in IRS, Benghazi Scandals
On Monday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of FNC host Bill O'Reilly's interview with President Barack Obama, MSNBC host Al Sharpton and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank dismissed the possibility of Obama administration wrongdoing in the IRS and Benghazi scandals.
After linking the IRS commissioner's many White House visits to ObamaCare, Milbank deceptively asserted that President Obama had labelled the Benghazi attack as "terrorism" the day after it happened when, in reality, the President blamed the attack on an anti-Muslim video on YouTube rather than a premeditated attack by an organized terrorist group. Milbank:
The whole notion of a cover-up doesn't make a whole lot of sense since as the President said today, they were acknowledging a day after that it was a terrorist attack. And so it's not clear when you allege a cover-up, there has to be some information that was hidden. But it seems all to have been out there within a few days.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, February 3, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:
AL SHARPTON: Now, now, you know, Dana, Bill O'Reilly also asked the President about visits the IRS commissioner made to the White House. Listen to this.
BILL O'REILLY, FNC HOST: Douglas Schulman, former IRS chief, he was cleared into the White House 157 times, more than any of your cabinet members, more than any other IRS guy in the history by far. Okay. Why was Douglas Schulman here 157 times? Why?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Mr. Schulman as the head of the IRS is constantly coming because of the time. We were trying to set up the HealthCare.gov.
SHARPTON: Now, first of all, 76 percent of the meetings the IRS commissioner was cleared to attend at the White House involved the health care law. And it's only confirmed that he signed in for 11 events. I mean, doesn't that poke some kind of hole in the theory that he was there all the time plotting against conservatives? I mean, Dana, are we really to believe that the President of the United States himself would be sitting, plotting against right-wing groups with the head of the IRS? I mean, what are we talking about?
DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST: Yeah, this came up a year ago in the middle of all this, and it was answered at the time. Of course, when you say something, it didn't mean he's here at the White House, as O'Reilly said, it meant what he said in the first instance that he was cleared in. And you're automatically cleared in.
MILBANK: And a guy in his position for all these meetings that he didn't actually attend. But the whole thing doesn't matter anyway because everybody has been through this and all kinds of independent ways and have found as the professor was just saying that the targeting that was done here was done to groups of all political persuasions.
Likewise, with Benghazi. The whole notion of a cover-up doesn't make a whole lot of sense since as the President said today, they were acknowledging a day after that it was a terrorist attack. And so it's not clear when you allege a cover-up, there has to be some information that was hidden. But it seems all to have been out there within a few days.