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Scandals Put White House on Defense, Derail Second Term


On 'Real News' Thursday the panel broke down the latest we've learned over the last 24 hours regarding the three scandals the Obama administration finds itself up against: continued fallout from the 9/11/12 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the admission that groups within the IRS were targeting politically conservative organizations, and the discovery that the Justice Department had secretly seized communication records from The Associated Press during an investigation into the leaking of classified security information to the press. The panel also looked retrospectively at first six months of a second Obama term now in crisis.

Joseph Grant, commissioner of the IRS's tax exempt and government entities division, became the second high-level official from the agency to step down Thursday after it was revealed conservative groups had been targeted for higher scrutiny. On Wednesday, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller resigned at the request of the White House. The president announced Thursday that Miller would be replaced by Daniel Werfel, current controller of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, President Obama called on Congress to bolster security at American embassies in wake of the attacks in Libya last September. During the same conference the president touched on issues related to the AP probe controversy, USA today reports: 

Obama declined to talk particularly about the AP case but offered some broad comments about leak investigations.

"Leaks related to national security can put people at risk," Obama said. "They can put men and women that I have sent into the battlefield at risk."

"I make no apologies" about national security leak investigations, he said.

On the flip side, the president said there is a need for "balance," and reporters need to be able to do investigative reporting for the good of democracy.

He said he has "complete confidence" in Attorney General Eric Holder, who has come under fire over the AP probe.

On 'Real News' the panel discussed the latest developments in Washington Thursday:

And later the show was joined by Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry to debate how these scandals will affect Obama's second term agenda:

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