By Zachary A. Goldfarb and Juliet Eilperin
Published: May 15 E-mail the writers
President Obama on Wednesday demanded and accepted the resignation of the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steven T. Miller, as part of a multi-pronged effort to quell controversies that threaten to dominate his second term.
The action was Obama’s first substantive step to address a political uproar stemming from the IRS’s disclosure that it had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. It capped a day when the White House tried to dampen two other furors that had put Obama on the defensive — the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records and the administration’s editing of talking points about the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, last year.
In a brief but fiery evening statement in the East Room of the White House, Obama labeled the IRS’s actions “inexcusable.”
“Americans are right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” he said, adding that he “will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has.”
The administration also took the extraordinary step of releasing a letter from Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in which he demanded that Miller resign in order “to restore public trust and confidence in the IRS.”
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