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Reported by: Jessica Yellin and Tom Cohen/CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- New details emerged of what the White House knew about the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups, with spokesman Jay Carney disclosing Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was among the top officials made aware of the matter late last month.

In a new timeline provided by Carney to reporters on Monday, General Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler learned on April 24 of a pending Treasury inspector general's report on how IRS staff used criteria targeting conservative groups in assessing eligibility for tax-exempt status.

According to Carney, Ruemmler told McDonough as well as other Treasury officials about the pending report. It was the first time the White House acknowledged that McDonough was aware of the report before it became public in early May.


In addition, Carney made clear that the information Ruemmler received on April 24 included details of improper acts by IRS officials.

At the same time, Carney emphasized that the information was preliminary and could have changed before the inspector general released his final report on May 14.

Carney insisted no one -- including Ruemmler and McDonough -- told President Barack Obama anything about the inspector general's pending report before media reports about it began appearing on May 10.

"We knew the subject of the investigation and we knew the nature of some of the potential findings, but we did not have a copy of the draft report," Carney said. "We did not know the details, the scope, or the motivation surrounding the misconduct and we did not know who was responsible. Most importantly, the report was not final and still very much subject to change."

However, the new information on Monday continued a perception of a White House on the defensive over the issue, one of at least three controversies dogging Obama as his second term reaches the four-month mark.

The Senate Finance Committee will hold the second congressional hearing on the matter Tuesday, after the House Ways and Means Committee grilled the outgoing acting commissioner of the IRS last Friday.


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