President Obama doesn’t merely claim ignorance of the IRS’ targeting of politically conservative groups or the Department of Justice’s targeting of journalists: according to The New York Times, Obama was also ignorant of the extent of NSA surveillance. According to the Times, “aides said Mr. Obama was surprised to learn after leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, just how far the surveillance had gone.” David Plouffe, Obama’s advisor, said, “Things seem to have grown at the NSA. I think it was disturbing to most people, and I think he found it disturbing.”
President Obama has repeatedly claimed ignorance on scandals plaguing his administration.
In October, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Obama didn’t know about failures of Healthcare.gov. In May, Obama said he knew nothing about the IRS scandal: “I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.”