Carney: Criticism of IRS response 'legitimate'

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's top spokesman says the White House is facing "legitimate criticisms" for its shifting accounts about who knew what about the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative political groups, and when they knew it.

Press secretary Jay Carney's acknowledgement is an attempt to stem a growing narrative that the White House has bungled its response to the IRS controversy. The White House appears to have had no direct role in the agency's targeting of conservative political groups.

The criticism of the White House has largely focused on its evolving story about who in the White House knew about the IRS targeting before it became public. Carney first said only Obama's top lawyer was aware but later said the chief of staff and other top officials also knew.