When word got out that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman had visited the White House more often than previously reported, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly jumped on the fact as evidence of a possible ‘smoking gun’ in the scandal. O’Reilly reported Shulman had actually made 157 visits to the White House.
“By comparison then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to the White House 43 times,” O’Reilly said. “Then CIA Director Leon Panetta 20 times. So what the heck was Mr. Shulman doing at the White House with that kind of frequency?”
O’Reilly was perturbed at Shulman’s flippant response at last week’s congressional hearing as to why there were so many visits, citing the White House Easter Egg Roll as one.
“Well, Mr. Shulman, you know what you can do with your Easter Egg hunt?” O’Reilly said. “You must explain under oath what you were doing at the White House on 157 separate occasions.”
Former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson, who served under President George W. Bush until 2007, said possible explanations for Shulman’s visits could point to two major legislative issues that were being hammered out at the time.
“The administration was considering tax reform and also healthcare, in which the service has a major role,” Everson said. “So, the service needs to be part of conversations about what is going to happen if that bill becomes law. So that’s totally legitimate.”
While he was trying to present a fair view of the office, even Everson admitted the number was highly unusual.
Watch the exchange here via Mediaite.
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