President Obama is under fire for not knowing, yet again.
“Scandal after scandal, Obama sings the same tune: He is always the last to know,” the Republican National Committee declared in a memo on their website dubbing Obama the “bystander president.”
Reports emerged over the weekend that the president was unaware the National Security Agency was spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on the heels of news that he didn’t know about the massive technical problems with the healthcare website until they hit.
“Either this president is extraordinarily disengaged or his people are extraordinarily disingenuous,” host Joe Scarborough remarked on Tuesday’s Morning Joe.
“What did Obama know and when did he know it?” The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank asked in an opinion column on Tuesday. “Answer: Not much, and about a minute ago.”
NBC News’ White House correspondent Chuck Todd said his advisers are hoping to protect him.
“This is the senior leadership’s instinct, to put up this wall and essentially, because they believe if they somehow say the president knew any little thing, that creates a feeding frenzy,” Todd said. “Their instinct always immediately is to say we’re just learning of this, it’s a buy time.”
Bloomberg’s Julie Pace contended that the IRS and subpoenaing of journalist’s phone records—both scandals the president said he learned of when the press published reports of them—were farther afield and could have been unknown, but increasingly the list looks suspect.
“But when you’re talking about things like spying on close U.S. allies, when you’re talking about problems with the roll out of your signature legislation, it seems as if those issues should have made their way into the Oval Office,” Pace said.