A version of this post appeared in The Edge, National Journal's daily look at today in Washington -- and what's coming next. The email features analysis from NJ's top correspondents, the biggest stories of the day -- and always a few surprises. To subscribe, click here.
It's been a rough day for the Obama administration.
The morning was dominated by a leak of e-mail summaries that suggest a State Department official interjected politics into the administration's response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Discussing "talking points" being prepared for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, a State Department spokeswoman warned officials at the White House and intelligence agencies that mention of CIA warnings of past threats "could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned...."
The paragraph was deleted.
Later today, the Internal Revenue Service apologized for giving special scrutiny to political groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names. The practice was wrong, the IRS said, but not politically motivated. Conservatives have long suspected that the agency singled them out for unfair treatment. Loaded with hard-working civil servants, the State Department and IRS normally steer clear of politics. Not on this day.
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