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Obama's tough week

The White House has been hit hard over the handling of security in Benghazi, Libya, as well as its messaging to the public in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. The administration was also slammed this week by revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political groups, and that the Department of Justice (DOJ) authorized the seizure of phone records from the Associated Press last year.

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Attorney General Eric Holder said publicly Tuesday that he had recused himself early on in the DOJ's investigation of what he described as some of the most serious leaks from government officials that jeopardized national security.

"I don't know all that went into the formulation of the subpoena," Holder said at a press conference.

At the White House on Tuesday, press secretary Jay Carney fielded questions on all three controversies.

He said that he could rule out any involvement by Obama or West Wing staff in the IRS decision to target conservative organizations.

Pressed during his daily press briefing if he could be certain, Carney replied “yes,” and added that White House lawyers were first "notified about this activity, very broadly, just a few weeks ago."

Read more of Sink's reporting on the multitude of problems facing the White House this week.

—Daniel Strauss and Jordy Yager contributed.