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The White House worked overtime Wednesday to try to change the narrative on two ongoing controversies embroiling the Obama administration.
First, it called reporters to a sudden afternoon “deep background” briefing, according to CQ Roll Call’s harried White House reporter, Steven T. Dennis. Just as Dennis emailed the newsroom that he was in possession of a binder full of emails relating to the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, the White House announced that the president would give a 6 p.m. statement on the ongoing scandal over the IRS’s decision to target conservative groups seeking non-profit status for extra scrutiny.
Whether the one-two punch will actually take the wind out of Republicans’ sails is yet to be seen, but there were some signs that Obama had successfully put the GOP on defense for the first time in a few weeks.
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David Hawkings has been covering Washington for more than 25 years. He was managing editor of CQ Weekly, edited CQ’s Politics in America and, most recently, authored the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing.