WASHINGTON---President Barack Obama, commenting Monday for the first time on the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups, said it was "outrageous."
Obama was careful not to get too far ahead of an Inspector General report expected on the targeting--which Obama said he learned about on Friday.
"I can tell you that if you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable and it's got to be fixed. So we'll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are.
"But I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it. And we'll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this," Obama said.
The IRS targeting will also be subject to congressional inquiry. On Capitol Hill, the IRS--with no constituency to defend it--will find critics from both sides of the aisle.
Obama made the comments in reply to a question during a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister David Cameron.