Obama Calls IRS Misconduct "Inexcusable"

In press conference, he announced the agency's acting commissioner has been fired.

Posted: 05/15/2013 06:37 PM EDT

President Obama once again forcefully condemned the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS and announced steps to address the controversy. Speaking from the East Room of the White House Wednesday evening, the president called the conduct of those responsible "inexcusable."

"Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I 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 into all of our lives," he said.

Obama announced that after reviewing the inspector general audit of the agency's misconduct, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew fired acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller. The president said that new leadership is required to restore future confidence. He also said that new safeguards would be put in place to prevent future efforts to target groups based on their political ideology.

In a nod to the voracity with which some congressional lawmakers have used the crisis to criticize his administration, Obama called on Republicans and Democrats to put aside politics and partisan agendas so they can work together with him to implement greater oversight.

"I think one thing that you've seen is, across the board, everybody believes what happened in — as reported in the IG report is an outrage," he said. "The good news is it's fixable. And it's in everyone's best interest to work together to fix it."

Obama also announced that he would take questions on the matter at a press conference on May 16.

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(Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

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