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President Obama on IRS Scandal: I Didn't Know Before Leak

CNBC.com With Reuters
Thursday, 16 May 2013 | 1:17 PM ET
President Barack Obama speaks to guests during a visit to Argonne National Laboratory on March 15, 2013 in Argonne, Illinois.
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President Barack Obama speaks to guests during a visit to Argonne National Laboratory on March 15, 2013 in Argonne, Illinois.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he did not know about the Internal Revenue Service Inspector General's report on the agency's targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny before it was leaked to the press.

Obama said in a news conference in the White House Rose Garden that he was committed to fully fixing problems at the IRS, saying any employees involved in targeting conservative groups would be held accountable for their "outrageous'' actions.

Obama also addressed the crisis in Syria.

He said he reserves the right to resort to a range of both diplomatic and military options if he receives conclusive proof that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons in the country's civil war.

Obama, at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, said there was evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria but that it is important to get "more specific information'' to confirm that before deciding how to respond.

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