Woodward: Road to Watergate for Obama Admin is concealment

Journalist opines on White House scandal


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 3rd, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY: Now for the "Top Story" tonight, reaction: joining us from D.C. Bob Woodward who along with Karl Bernstein drove the Watergate story for the "The Washington Post." Comparisons to the IRS right now, Mr. Woodward, are there any?

BOB WOODWARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Certainly, it's part of the government. This fiction that somehow it's totally an independent agency is absurd. When George Schultz was the Treasury Secretary for Nixon and the IRS commissioner at the time, Johnny Walters came to see Schultz and said the White House wants me to audit this list of Democrats, you know what George Schultz did? He said, "If they want me to do that they can get a new Treasury Secretary." He refused to do it.

Clearly in the pipeline lots of people knew some of this or should know it and I agree, this needs to be investigated. But you know who should lead the investigation? President Obama. And the White House put out his version of all of these things. I have found in recent weeks, they still respond to questions. You say they aren't answering this question about the 157 visits by the IRS commissioner. They should. They should get on top of this story.

O'REILLY: Sure, I mean we all know that that would go a long way to stop waste taxpayer time and government money, I should say and government time. But we've got serious things to talk about here. We've got the economy, Obamacare, immigration reform and yet now everybody is locked in on this. It doesn't take a long time, as you well know. Everybody who goes into the White House has logged in.

And we're going to talk to Karl Rove about this coming up. And they all are logged in. They all are written down who they talked to and how much time they spend there. So, President Obama could easily come out through his spokesperson and say this is where Mr. Shulman was. And here are the dates. Here is who he met with. This is what was discussed. That's simple.

The fact that the President doesn't do it, should raise the curiosity of every reporter, Mr. Woodward, every reporter. Yet, as I said, the major network news on television ignored the story last week in its totality. It's amazing.

WOODWARD: Well, I will put in a request on it and I have found them responsive to these things. As I've said they are not yet in the bunker; that the answers are forthcoming sometimes. It takes a long time.

O'REILLY: But here is why they are not doing it in my opinion with all due respect.


O'REILLY: Because there is no pressure on them to do it. This is a totally different environment than when you and Bernstein were running around. But you got flak, you got flak when and so...

WOODWARD: We've got more than flack.

O'REILLY: Yes, you guys got pressure. But the journalistic community was behind you. That's one of the reasons I'm sitting here today was because of what you did with Watergate. I wanted to be an investigative reporter and indeed did do a lot of that because of what you did.

WOODWARD: In fact, Bill, I mean I lived through this. People did not believe what we wrote for a long time. Nixon won a massive re-election in 1972 and everyone was kind of saying Watergate is over. It's incredible.

O'REILLY: But not the journalistic community. The journalistic community --

WOODWARD: Oh yes the journalistic community.

O'REILLY: Only to people in the tank.


O'REILLY: You know that, only the people in the tank. The other people, well, you were kicking the "New York Times'" butt so they were playing catch up. But when you had a revelation, it got out. Now, I don't know if there is a desire to know. I really don't.

WOODWARD: Well let's hope there is because much hangs in the balance here. Not just the reputation of the news media for aggressiveness and in some form of neutrality but the whole relationship that the White House and the government has with the public about trust. And you know there is deep, deep suspicion about this White House in many quarters and it isn't just from your network or the right-wing or the conservatives. Lots of people are asking questions.

O'REILLY: That's right.

WOODWARD: I think Obama can get ahead of this and really answer some of these questions.

O'REILLY: He could.

WOODWARD: But if he takes the position oh this is all politics and this is a side show as he has on Benghazi...

O'REILLY: No but there's one other element there. If he gets ahead of it as you're encouraging him to do and so am I, he's got to fire a few people and he doesn't want to do that. You and I both know there were people inside that White House that knew exactly what the IRS was doing.

I'll give you the last word.

WOODWARD: I don't know that and but I suspect it and I think we should get answers on this. But you know, this -- this -- one of the things you learn doing this for 40 years is -- and I agree this is not Watergate at all. But the road to Watergate is concealment, is not coming clean and just say "Oh well we won't have to release that memo. We won't have to let so and so testify. Let's call executive privilege."


WOODWARD: "Let's stonewall." And if they do that they will dig themselves in a hole. And I think they have the moral and intellectual capacity to stop that.

O'REILLY: We'll see. We will see.

WOODWARD: We will see...

O'REILLY: You've got to come up pretty fast. You've got to come up pretty fast. So we will see.

WOODWARD: Yes, fair. Fair reporting.

O'REILLY: And we appreciate you coming on tonight. Thank you.

WOODWARD: Thank you.

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