In a conference call with reporters on Friday, senior Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner admitted she wasn't "good at math," according to multiple reports.
In the wake of an apology made by the agency for targeting conservative groups with greater scrutiny for possible violations of their tax-exempt status during the 2012 election, Lerner's admission is just the icing on the cake.
Here's how it went down, according to audio obtained by Fox News:
"So, a quarter of the 300, we are talking about 75 or so [groups that were targeted]?" NBC News' Tom Costello asked.
"Um, is that a quarter? That’s correct. Thank you. I’m not good at math!" Lerner responded.
There was a pause, and Costello reminded her, sounding incredulous: "You're with the IRS."
"I'm a lawyer, not an accountant," Lerner explained. (Lerner is head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.)
On Twitter, the backlash was predictably swift. Political reporters expressed disbelief:
Aaaand scene. RT @byrontau: This actually just happened: IRS administrator says: "I'm not good at math."— Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody) May 10, 2013
Meanwhile, Doug Heye, the Deputy Chief of Staff for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, noted the irony of Lerner's remark:
Not good at math on your IRS tax form, you get audited, penalties + interest. Not good at math at the IRS, you brief the press.— Doug Heye (@DougHeye) May 10, 2013
Lerner's admission, some could argue, wasn't even the most shocking part of the conference call.
During the half-hour conversation, Lerner also indicated that the IRS had no plans to publicly disclose the conservative targeting until it was specifically asked to do so, The Washington Post reported. Lerner also couldn't get her story straight on whether any disciplinary action was being taken at the IRS to address the wrongdoing, according to WaPo.
Congressional Republicans have called on the White House to investigate the IRS's alleged bias, which targeted about 75 political groups that had the words "tea party" and "patriot" in their names for additional reviews, according to The Associated Press.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the White House expects the Treasury Department, of which the IRS is a part, to conduct the investigation itself, AP reported.
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