Rep. Issa: IRS apology to Tea Party groups ‘not an honest one’

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not being sincere in its apology for targeting Tea Party Groups, according to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)

Issa accused the IRS of leaking a watchdog report examining the agency's decision to identify conservative tax-exempt groups for additional scrutiny, before its official release, in an effort to spin its findings.

"One of the most offensive parts is…before the IG's report comes to the public…it's leaked by the IRS to try to spin the output," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "This mea culpa's not an honest one."


On Friday, the IRS apologized for targeting the groups, saying it was a decision made by career employees in an Ohio office in an effort to streamline the review process. The disclosure has led to heated criticism from Republicans, who are vowing investigations into the matter. The White House was also critical, as Press Secretary Jay Carney called the actions "inappropriate."

A report on the matter from the Treasury watchdog overseeing the IRS is set to be made public this week.

But a leaked draft report was obtained by the Associated Press Saturday. The AP said the report found that senior IRS officials were aware of the targeting as early as 2011.

"They used key words to go after conservatives," said Issa. "This is something where you have to institute changes to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"There's got to be accountability," he added.