May 13th, 2013
09:47 PM ET

White House responds to Justice Dept. secretly obtaining AP phone records: "We are not involved"

The White House has responded to accusations that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records for some of the associated press' reporters and editors.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said:

"Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department. Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice."

OutFront tonight: CNN's Brian Todd has the story.

Filed under: Justice • News
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. constantstream

    " constantstream
    Your comment is awaiting moderation
    Boy, the WH sure isn't responsible for a lot of things happening on their watch. I wonder how a Board of Directors would treat a CEO who continually said he wasn't responsible for the actions of those divisions under his umbrella?
    May 14, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply"
    This is still awaiting moderation? Is there an issue with this statement?

    May 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  2. SandMan00

    Let's face it. Obama never was an effective executive or administrator. How could he be when he was never in charge of anything before becoming the single most powerful person in the world? Before getting elected to the presidency, his only claim to fame was an ability to shake down the political establishment for payoffs. He has proven singularly inept at running that establishment for the benefit of all. This is why you should actually require accomplishments before handing someone the presidency. thuis is why the media should vet all serious candidates. So it should not surprise anyone when this nobody ends up being an utter failure as a leader. A ham-handed political thug is all he ever was or will be.

    May 14, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  3. SandMan00

    This response pretty much encapsualtes the Obama Doctrine. If something good happens, be it an uptick in the economy or putting a bullet between bin Laden's eyes, Obama's smarmy face is all over the airwaves taking credit for it. But anytime corruption and incompetence is exposed under his watch, then it's IRS? Never heard of them. DOJ letting poll watching thugs off the hook? I was on the golf course when that happened. DOJ selling guns to Mexican drug lords? There's no such thing as Mexico. And on and on...

    May 14, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  4. BudW

    Not once has this group ever admitted to anything,its always someone else and for the most part the press has covered for Obama, now the press is getting a taste of Obama please press do your job!

    May 14, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  5. Godsong

    Didn't Oblamer put them in that job? Yes! It's his responsibility as their boss to make sure they abide by the law of the land. If they don't, he needs to fire them or he is guilty by proxy. Am I wrong about this being the law? The buck stops with the president.

    May 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  6. Hmm

    The ObamaGate administration got what it needed – a reelection. The chief executive is responsible for execution of laws. The WH by not condemning DOJ, has condoned DOJ.

    May 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  7. mauloa

    Apparently our current President does not follow the dictates of his predecessor Harry Truman with "the Buck Stops Here". Truman also said "if you can't stand the heat in the kitchen – get out". Obama takes no responsibility and feigns ignorance on any disgraceful and corrupt activity – but boy does he go for the praise if it is available. If things get tough – you can find him on the golf course – banging the ball – instead of banging the Country.

    May 14, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  8. Vic

    I guarantee you Valerie Jarrett knew. Remember right before the election she said "After we win this election, it's our turn. Payback time." Everybody not with us is against us and they better be ready because we don't forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded and the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be he!! to pay. "

    May 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  9. Wandering Statue Standing in Motion

    "We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department."

    Please tell me, what is the purpose of the executive branch if it is says that the justice department is independent? Do so many people really lack an understanding of how their government was designed to work?

    May 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  10. Bvikay

    Who does the DOJ work for?

    May 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  11. Sam8131

    Let me guess. It's either Bush's or Palin's fault.

    May 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  12. Carl

    The Justice Department is a bunch of crooks just like the White House.

    May 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  13. derefel cadarn

    Is or is not Justice part of the executive branch of this government? Then if the White House knew nothing about this they are equally remiss as if they did. It seems they are trying to use their incompetence as a defense to show how competent they are. This could only make sense to a Liberal as their entire belief system is delusional.

    May 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  14. astrowork

    "Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations"

    How is it that they can claim executive privilege regarding "Fast and Furious", but now claim to have no involvement with investigations by the Justice Department? Just askin'

    May 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  15. Flayeru

    Is there ANYTHING POTUS admits he is involved with? Is there ANYTHING he knows? Is there ANYTHING he can be blamed for? ANYTHING? He pretends to be a specter, floating from campaign speech to fundraiser, never leaving his trace but making off with buckets of money from his strange followers. This is just creepy.

    May 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  16. False Hope

    So what exactly does the WH know about?!!!

    May 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  17. K Spencer

    Wait for it...it's Bush's fault.

    May 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  18. scooby184

    It's gettin' pretty crowded under that bus...

    May 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  19. jbernal

    Remember Ron Ziegler, Nixon's Press Secretary? This guy Carney makes Ziegler look like a saint. Honestly, how does he look at himself in the mirror?

    May 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  20. Bob

    If this wasn't real it would be funny! Thanks to all of those people who couldn't see through this guy and his administration before the elect. Thanks to you we have to put up with this garbage.

    May 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  21. JCIll

    Any real leader takes responsibility for what happens on his watch. Obama is a COWARD. Passing the blame is childish and shows a total lack of leadership. Of course, based upon his background, many of us knew this in 2008, but we are victims of the dumbing down of America.

    May 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  22. Dino

    The only thing obama knows anything about is campaigning, playing golf and having lavish party's...he is the most untrustworthy, corrupt and incompetent president America has ever seen!

    May 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  23. Defiant

    Even on Star Trek the Captian of a ship admits he's responsible for the actions of his crew. How is the POTUS not responsible for the actions of the agencies over which he presides? It's his BUSINESS to be aware of this kind of thing. Since my high school law class I've been told that ignorance is no excuse for not obeying the law...and yet it's a good excuse for the President of the United States. I guess SOME form of consequences might teach him about the chain of command, and taking responsibility for those who are subordinate to him...but it's plain that for Obama, there are NO consequences for anything.

    May 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • Jeremiah

      Maybe he just doesn't know what to do. A Captain Clink.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  24. MR_22

    Uh huh. How many versions of THIS memo did it take for the White House to get the denial of involvement in THIS scandal "just right?"

    If the White House had an answering machine, I'm pretty sure the message would start with: "It wasn't me!"

    May 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  25. Lazybum

    What were those bumps? Oh, that was sound of the wheels on the bus going round and round....over Eric Holder!

    You know this is bad when he throws a Brother under the bus! Guess what, Barrack- Eric good some goods on you too. He will not wnat to go this road alone!

    May 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • ArentYouConfused?

      Didn't you see the Fast and Furious scandal results? Eric Holder has nothing to worry about if he can get away with giving thousands of automatic weapons to drug cartels in Mexico.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  26. Ron

    "I am president of all America." So Obama said two days ago. He likes to be in charge, he just doesn't like to take responsibility. In other cultures, CEOs resign as a sign of respect for their business, the office they hold and statement of accountability. All this requires maturity, of course.

    May 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • Flayeru

      When is he going to start acting like it?

      May 14, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  27. John

    LOL...It's Obama's hand maiden, Holder, who runs the DOJ. You REALLY think that Obama didn't know?

    May 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
    • Jeremiah

      The President is not in charge? The AG serves at the pleasure of the President. Sgt. Schultz syndrome? (thanks Meygn) IRS , State department independent of President?

      May 14, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  28. krp

    Democrat Presidents are never responsible for anything.

    On Waco, Clinton said, "You have to talk to Janet Reno on that".

    Obama blames Hilary for Benghazi, He blames Bush. He cannot be seen as governing so it is a low level iRS agent, or the Justice Department, or some field office of the ATF

    The bottom line, Democrats cannot do anything except take credit personally for anything that appears good and blame someone else for what goes wrong.

    May 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  29. AsilentMajority

    AG Holder....shh, listen carefully . Can you hear that big bus warming up over at the WH? You are about to be thrown under it by your buddy, BO.

    May 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  30. monkeyman

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said:

    "Other than press reports, we have made sure, we have no knowledge of any attempt we made to the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We have also made certain that we are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, we have requested, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department. Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice."

    May 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  31. Joseph McLinden

    Remember the words: "It happened on my watch" Mr. Obama you are a coward.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • Mes

      The problem is that Mr. Obama isn't watching. So not under his watch.

      May 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  32. Americanman2012

    PLEASE, we are not stupid, Obama appointed Holder, they were friends, so it's impossible for Obama to not know. It's the old Good cop, bad Cop. Nothing but the finger pointing game, he said she said. Obama has always been ruthless in getting elected, and all the other power grab deception. Eventually all Liars screw up and get caught in a lie.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • mrsharfer

      Judge Judy always says you don't have to have a good memory if you tell the truth!

      May 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  33. rc33

    They can claim to be as uninvolved as they want; in their best case scenario, they come off as clueless and asleep at the switch.
    Can someone put together a spreadsheet so we can keep track of all this?

    May 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  34. Kevin

    Yeah, OK. The white house was not involved.. LIARS!

    May 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  35. voodoodaddy1

    LOl-You are kidding! That's the best ol' Jay the Liar can come up with.....Guess what Jay and Barack...NO ONE believes you any more!

    May 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  36. DieselBoatMan

    Is this guy rsponsible/accountable for anything? Blame this, blame that, point that boney fingure anywhere but at yourself. Had this joke of a president ever worked his way up to get a job/promotion, he would've learned quickly that laying off blame on everyone else is a one way ticket to the end of a career. This guy doesn't know the first thing about leadership, is not the over the top genius that he's make out to be, and is basically a fraud ... pretty good campaigner though.


    May 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  37. sailfishman

    Like a Tsunami...Obama's corruption is coming home to roost!!!

    May 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  38. sailfishman

    Yeah right!!! Seems to me that this smacks of Obama stench!!! Obama leaked the IRS issue to deflect Benghazi (sp?) and it is turning out to bite him on his backside...along with the other scandals that are starting to come out...seems to me the MSM is starting to turn on the "chosen one" and within 6 months or so there will be so many scandals showing up Obama may just have to pull a Nixon.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  39. Bill Melton

    Wow! Didn't see that coming!!!

    May 14, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  40. Robb

    Why in the world anyone believe Carney? He is the mouth piece puppet liar ALL Press Secretaries are! Only thing is this guy just seems to creepy and sleazy! He reminds of a used car salesman who tries to sell you a car with hood up and a mechanic working on it saying "there is nothing wrong here, this is the best car on the lot"!

    May 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • Sam8131

      I like to call him DC Jay (aka Bagdad Bob)

      May 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  41. heartlandpatriot

    Always passing the buck. Nothing is EVER the fault of the current administration. They never do anything wrong, they are perfect...except that they, by their admission, do not keep track of what anyone in their administration is doing. So, they are incompetent.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  42. wforce

    Who is in charge of this country? Why does the WH find out about everything from the news. Obummer has really turned us into the divided states of America.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  43. democRATsSuck

    oBozo is claiming incompetence instead of corruption. By tomorrow he will be blaiming Republicans.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  44. Hopsaregood

    The White House is not involved, excuse me. Who does Eric Holder report to? He reports to President Putin? Oh not Obama, sorry, I had forgotten the chain of command in the govt.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  45. Oliver Street

    Toxic president's spokesmodel on damage control. Too late.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  46. Shannon

    Typical of this administration...always denying their involvement and passing the buck!!!!!!! Disgraceful!!!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  47. sidlouie21

    the buck stops...ah...wait....let's see....it stops...huh...where does it stop again???

    May 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  48. Jimh

    Doesn't the Justice Department work for the President. Holder makes Meece look like a choir boy. Thought the State Department (Benghazi) and Treasury (IRS enemies list) worked for him too. Either this ia a disturbing pattern of corruption or incompetence. I'm not sure which is worse. So much for transparency.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  49. GODOT

    They must think We are as stupid as their voters. Sure, Justice and that Mensa Candidate who runs it would take on the Associated Press WITHOUT giving our dear leader a heads up. Sure, he's SO busy playing golf.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  50. Don

    It happened on his watch, what are you going to do, own it or blame it on Bush? This is exhibit A of why folks all over speak words of Gov tyranny.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  51. JasonNaZ

    Seriously?! Either the president is complicit in all of these decisions that are being made by or he is the most incompetent president we have ever had!

    May 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  52. OnePercent

    If the white house is not involved that means Eric Holder is abusing his power and trampling over the rights of the people yet again. It is time to fire Eric Holder. His corruption has continued to the point of absurdity, he has already been held in contempt of congress once over fast and furious. Allowing this kind of wanton abuse of power is extremely dangerous.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  53. len

    " Go ask Justice"???? Is he that delusional to even Suggest that we go ask his DRONE??? Justice is just as full of Incompetency as the WH....

    May 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  54. templeknight

    Yeah thats the ticket, go ask Mr fast and furious himself, Holder works hand in glove with obama. Just ask Sheriff Joe,
    about how bi-partisan this administration is. From another viewpoint, wasn't this supposed to be the most transparent administration in history, in a pig (with lipsticks) eye!

    May 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  55. Allen Clark

    wow, what a response. Obama is on the run and he is going to toss everybody under the bridge. Goes to show you this man has no integrity.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • Sam8131

      Who is he tossing under the bus? No one is paying any price for their misdeeds! It's Bush's fault1

      May 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  56. michael milo

    The president knows the history of oppression in this country, but ain't nobody told him the part of history where one of the previous president's said, "The buck stops here." Under which branch of the government does the Department of Justice fall?

    May 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  57. Jim in Summerfield, FL

    Wow, not even faking outrage or pledging to look into themselves ... what a pathetic bunch of a**clowns this administration is. ...Last I checked Justice, State, and Treasury were all part of the Executive Branch headed by the President. ... so they're happy to trash Wal-Mart because of one of their 20,000 vendor's has poor working conditions in Bangladesh ... but when his own administration exhibiits a pattern of screwing the pooch he sends his minions out to disavow knowledge and responsibility. Ignorance is not an excuse Mr. President.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  58. Sarah

    It's amazing how Obama is so completely clueless about what his administration officials are doing in his name. Normally, someone with this level of incompetence would be driven out of office.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  59. RobK

    Who appointed Eric Holder head of the Justice Department?

    May 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  60. Roy Galutia

    Obama sets the tone....and his head of the justice department that he chose follows and implements Obamas policies ...so Obama is tied to any Deeds ,Good or Bad , as Nixon found out ....only chance of coming clean is Clean out those that did it and my gut feeling is he will stall just like Nixon did ....

    May 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  61. sad citizen

    They are certainly not leading anything and are not in charge of anything. They are either complicit or inept. Either way they are an utter disgrace. When our leadership "leads" with tactics dedicated to Lucifer, we should expect nothing but lies, distortion, and smoke and mirrors.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
  62. LadyS

    Nixen didn't know anything either, and he was impeached. Why is it taking so long to impeach Obama on all the illegal things he's done??

    May 14, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • CK

      Actually, Nixon was not impeached. He resigned before it could happen.

      Thing is, nobody died at Watergate.

      May 16, 2013 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • Sam8131

      Who do you think is in charge of the Senate? It would be a total waste of time. Although, the Senate isn't really that busy these days.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  63. nomoregovtidiots

    so now the justice department is an independent agency not connected to the WH

    May 14, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
  64. spawn44

    THE REGIME has ZERO credibility left. To believe anything these frauds say is to believe they come to work, act like their in charge, but all decisions are made by low level employees. Low Level government employees only do what they are told. Every scam FAST and FURIOUS, BENGHAZI, IRS, EPA, ELIGIBILITY, VOTER FRAUD, WIRE TAP and who knows how many others COME RIGHT FROM THE TOP. PERIOD.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
  65. RetiredNavyChief

    Like I believe anything that Jay Carney say! He is right up there in the liar hall of fame surpassed only by a few the top of which is Obama! Go ask DOJ and the 2nd biggest liar in government, Eric Holder! I am going to trust Eric Holder to answer a question about anything honesty – I don't think so!

    May 14, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
  66. alwanderer

    Nixon was wickedly behind "it"... resigns. Obama is totally ignorant, knows nothing, Duh. This of course only applies to what we've been able to discover, which is beginning to add up.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
  67. Who's in charge here?

    The buck stops at:
    – the State Department
    – the IRS
    – the Justice Department
    – ...

    May 14, 2013 at 11:35 am | Reply
  68. Chuck

    I now have more respect for Carter then this administration. At least Carter didn't blame or point the finger at someone else when the Helicopter went down. He took the blame as Commander in Chief. I don't remember Obama ever saying it was his fault, but always someone else or points the finger.
    Obama nor his administration or the media forgot what Obama said in the Rose garden " any act of terror", not a act of terrorism.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:35 am | Reply
  69. dave

    Does this white house know ANYTHING before they hear it on the news? This excuse is SO old, I can't believe they're still trotting it out.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:33 am | Reply
  70. alwanderer

    Nixon was wickedly behind, Bo is totally Ignorant "knows nothing".

    May 14, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  71. AZWarrior

    It is amazing to hear the President and Chief Executive Officer of the United States brag about not being in charge of his branch of government. Perhap that is part of the problem or perhaps that is a lie. Which is it Mr. President?

    May 14, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply

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