Obama: WH didn't influence SEC timing on Goldman charges

In an interview set to air Wednesday on CNBC, Obama said the White House had nothing to do with the Securities and Exchange Commission's decision to file fraud charges Friday against Goldman Sachs.

"This notion somehow that there would be any atttempt to interfere with an independent agency is completely false," Obama said.

Obama said the SEC is an independent agency "that we have no day-to-day control over" and that it never discussed with the White House "anything with respect to the charges" that were brought.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has raised questions over whether the timing of the charges was influenced by the Senate debate on Wall Street reform legislation.

In a letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, Issa suggested the charges were timed to coincide with the effort to push financial reform through the Senate.

"The events of the past 5 days have fueled legitimate suspicion on the part of the American people that the Commission has attempted to assist the White House, the Democratic Party and Congressional Democrats by timing the suit to coincide with the Senate's consideration of financial regulatory legislation," Issa wrote.

"The American people have a right to know whether the Commission, or any of its officers or employees, may have violated federal law by using the resources of an independent regulatory agency to promote a partisan political agenda." 

In the same interview, Obama said there wouldn't be a partial or temporary extension on the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,00 a year beyond their expiration at the end of 2010. 

"We can't afford that step," he said. 

He also said the debt is worse than he realized when he made promises not to raise tax and he will wait for the recommendations of a bipartisan debt panel, which are due Dec. 1.

That allows Obama time to hold off on an potential tax increases for the middle class until after the mid-term elections.