Franklin Graham Says Obama Yet to Respond to IRS Targeting
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Jun 11
Franklin Graham says he is still waiting for President Obama to respond to his letter about Internal Revenue Service agents' targeting of tea party and conservative groups, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, which he leads, the Christian Post reports. "I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt," Graham said during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity. "I like the president. I think he's a nice person. I disagree with him on many of his politics, but at the same time I wanted to write him and let him know that we suspected that we were targeted. Would he look into it? But I have not heard a reply yet." Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, told reporters last month that several organizations carrying the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their exemption applications were singled out by IRS agents for additional reviews between 2010 and 2012. Graham wrote to Obama on May 14, saying: "I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us. This is morally wrong and unethical -- indeed some would call it 'un-American.' Mr. President, the IRS has already publicly acknowledged it operated in a less than neutral and nonpartisan way. We also now know that the target of their improper actions was much wider than political or Tea Party organizations. Will you take some immediate action to reassure Americans we are not in a new chapter of America's history -- repressive government rule?" Graham told Hannity he didn't think Obama knew about the IRS targeting; White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has claimed the IRS action was not politically motivated and the administration wasn't aware of the issue until Lerner's admission.