Rep. Susan Collins: ‘Chilling’ that the IRS Singled Out Conservative Groups

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- The backlash against the IRS continued this weekend after the tax agency acknowledged Friday that it had singled out groups with the words "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their names for additional scrutiny of their tax-exempt status.

“The truth is that this was something that should have been revealed, should have been told, there were numerous congressional hearings, no one came forth,” said Democratic strategist Donna Brazile on ABC’s This Week Sunday.

“Clearly there was some incompetence at some level of bureaucrats looking into all these applications coming in a rush after Citizen United, to see whether or not they were legitimate organizations with the word Tea Party or Patriot in it,” she continued.

The IRS says it was a small group of employees who singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny of their tax-exempt status

While officials on both sides of the isle denounced the political targeting, many Republicans, including Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, aren’t so quick to accept that this was a small and limited mistake.

“I just don't buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees, after all groups with progressive in their names were not targeted similarly, there's evidence that higher level supervisors were aware of this,” Collins said on CNN’s State of the Union.

“It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review and I think that it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out,” she said.

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Democratic Congressman Adam Smith recommended patience, as news of the scandal only broke a mere two days ago.

“We need to look in and see exactly what happened before we can leap to a conclusion and start accusing people of things,” the congressman from Washington state said.

“I think it is definitely worth looking into but right now the new information is far, far too preliminary to reach any conclusions,” Smith continued.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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