Obama: IRS Focus on Conservative Groups 'Outrageous'

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Obama: IRS Focus on Conservative Groups 'Outrageous'
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President Barack Obama on Monday called the Internal Revenue Service's focus on conservative groups "outrageous" and said people should be "properly concerned."

Obama, speaking at a White House news conference alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, said that he learned of the IRS focus on conservative groups when news reports broke on Friday.

He added that anyone involved needs to be"held fully accountable."

Obama says he has "no patience for it" and will not tolerate a specific targeting of groups.

The IRS has apologized for what it calls "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

Republicans have condemned the targeting.

(More From CNBC: When It Comes to Obamacare, the IRS Rules)

Turning to Benghazi, Obama also said the ongoing questions about his administration's handling of the aftermath of Benghazi have been "politically motivated."

He was asked about recent disclosures that talking points on the attack produced by the intelligence community were later watered down to delete references to suspected ties between last September's assault and Islamic militants.

He called the attention on these talking points a "sideshow," telling reporters, "there's no there there."

Obama also called the violence in Syria appalling and said western allies would work to strengthen the hand of moderate opposition to Assad's leadership.

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-The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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