WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service agents who inappropriately targeted conservative groups had been following orders from the Obama administration, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said on Sunday.
And he called the administration's top spokesman a liar.
Last month the IRS said it had identified two "rogue agents" in the department's Cincinnati office who were overly aggressive in the handling of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status. Issa said his committee has found otherwise.
"As late as last week the administration's still trying to say there's a few rogue agents in Cincinnati when in fact the indication is they were directly being ordered from Washington," Issa told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union."
Issa's committee provided CNN partial transcripts of its interviews with Cincinnati IRS agents. Crowley read from one transcript in which an investigator asked an agent if directions for extra Tea Party scrutiny had emanated from Washington. "I believe so," the agent said.
Crowley was not impressed. "It's totally not definitive," she said of the excerpt.
"That one isn't," Issa said. "But I will tell you, one of the agents asked for and got a transfer because that person was so uncomfortable that they wanted out of it."
Issa said his committee would eventually release the full transcripts. In the meantime, he said, at least he isn't a liar like White House spokesman Jay Carney.
"Their paid liar, their spokesperson -- picture behind -- he’s still making up things about what happens and calling this a local rogue,” Issa said while gesturing to an image of Carney behind Crowley.