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May 15th, 2013
10:11 PM ET

Donald Rumsfeld on the IRS scandal: "That is, at the moment, the one that will have the greatest impact"

On a day which saw Barack Obama aggressively denounce the IRS's reported targeting of conservative political groups – including the Tea Party – "Piers Morgan Live" invited Donald Rumsfeld to share his insightful expertise.

Joining host Piers Morgan "In the Chair," the former two-time Secretary of Defense addressed the notion that the White House is currently facing a trio of separate issues, all seemingly happening simultaneously:

"Well, one is bad. Two is four. And three is ten," surmised the guest. "The pressure is enormous in the White House when this happens. It's the perfect storm. And we all have watched enough of our history to know that big and bad things can start from very small things."

Sharing the type of rhetoric that comes from spending more than a quarter century in public service, Rumsfeld offered one gem of wisdom after another:

"There are two rules in Washington. The first rule is: 'The cover-up's worse that the event.' And the second rule is: 'No one remembers the first rule.'"

Speaking specifically about the Internal Revenue Service's recent misstep, the 80-year-old suggested this scandal may be the most damning for the administration:

"I think the IRS thing is something the American people worry about deeply. The idea that government, with all its money and all their tax dollars and all those people turning against the American people, is really something that's so fundamentally against what we believe in," he told the host. "That is, at the moment, the one that will have the greatest impact."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Rumsfeld goes on to quote legendary American writer Mark Twain, in the process placing into context the American public's perspective on trust.
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Filed under: In the Chair • The Grill
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Del Goonetileke

    Dear Piers, I’m from Sri Lanka and these days Sri Lanka is put under the microscope by many first-world countries on our conduct during the last stages of the war: i.e. how we dealt with the worlds deadliest Terrorist outfit. Sri Lanka is often preached upon, told-to on subjects like lack of media freedom, human rights etc. We get an earful from the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert Blake and sometimes all the way from people in State Department. Reading some of the news stories on CNN, and your own show, I wonder how US of A can preach to countries like us, while their hands are dirty on issues like IRS-Teaparty, Benghasi and AP fallout??

    May 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. visitor

    Dear Del: I can answer that. Because the "IRS Tea Party" is a barely-there scandal. There is a clause in our tax code that groups can get a status to not pay taxes if they are charities. The IRS took the position that groups called the "Tea Party" were political, which are taxed, because, the Tea Party are political. The IRS took the position where the Tea Party groups needed to prove they were charities, and not political groups. That is hardly oppression. The AP scandal was several reporters' phone records were taken that shows what number they called and vise verse. Actually legal, but very questionable in an effort to find a leak. No one arrested. NO PRESS WAS STOPPED. All reporters are free to report. Benghazi was an al Queda attack that took place at the very same time there were protests in other countries about a stupid online video from a movie about Mohammed. Four people died in what was the terrorist attack.

    Compare that with allegations that Sri Lanka killed tens of thousands of Tamils in their own domestic war on terror and the press is literally clamped on and under Parliamentary control. Yeah, Sri Lanka is getting an earful.

    May 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bruce in the desert

      Well said Visitor!

      May 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Americans Like Flowers And Sniffing Them Also

        What,a REAL desert?

        Cor!

        May 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brian Smith

    Look who is talking!!! Donald Rumsfeld!!! Wow! The most corrupt person among his group!! Rumsfeld was the most corrupt person that ever worked in the White House. This guy is a double-faced politician. I am ashamed of you, Piers Morgan, that you invite such people. But I know you are kissing up. You lost me. You should bring people with credibility. Rumsfeld has already lost it. With his own group, they destroyed America!

    May 16, 2013 at 8:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • CL Campbell

      Amen! Rumsfeld's opinion is about as valid as a three dollar bill. All this hysteria is politically motivated and designed to further the right wing agenda of hate and propaganda against the President. Most of the outcry is from folks who don't even know what a 501(c) is, or the requirements of obtaining and maintaining this tax status.

      May 16, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Ol' MacDonald

        The only guid Campbell is a CL Campbell...

        *whisper*

        what's a 501(c)?

        May 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • What A Silly Billy

      Keep your shirt on,Bri,this is the THIRD time I've read this same posting[TWICE on another page].

      Not a fan then...

      May 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • hannah

      Well, guess what, Rummy has a book. Isn't that what they all do. Yes, he's corrupt, but I think Cheney is worse by far. these guys should all be in Jail. And you look at what the GOP is trying to get on Obama and it's laughable comapred to the last corrupt Bush administration.

      May 16, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Americans Have Got Drawing Pins Stuck In Their Behookies

    Ah,Colonists!

    Writing from Edinburgh,home of Jimmy The Six,and responsible for yon Bible that apparently tells ya tae buy guns...

    naw it disnae...

    May 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Americans Have Drawing Pins Stuck In Their Behookies Which They Won't Be Able To Get Through The Airport For The Golf Which They're Going To Lose Anyway

    FORE!

    A MILLION Yankeedoodle Tourists make it past the metal detectors here EVERY SINGLE YEAR,wonder how many have to
    sit back doon on the plane again(gotta hurt).

    May 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    This war criminal SOB is running off his stinking drunkard mouth while he should be sent to the ICC or be shot in the bleeping head. What goes around comes around and your evil days are numbered Rumsfeld. You'll soon rut in hell along with Bush and Cheyney.

    May 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      International Criminal Court?

      THAT would be something!

      (Charles out,Donald Where's Yer Lawyers in...)

      May 16, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jeanne021556

    I have no problem with the IRS investigating political action groups who want tax immunity. Many of them are too close to charlatan religious organizations that frankly appear to me as extremist.

    May 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      Anyone in particular?

      May 16, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • TomGI

      Like Scientology

      May 17, 2013 at 4:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • FREDRICK MOORE

      YOU DONT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH POLITICAL ACTION GROUPS HA EVEN IF ITS THE SAME ADMINASTRATION THATS IN OFFICE RIGHT NOW.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • shepherdgregory

        Fred,welcome to the blog but PLEASE stop putting caps lock on.

        May 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David Troughton

    Hi Piers.
    Have you been sucked in?

    The person in charge of the ones who looked at Tea Party issues was a President Bush appointee.
    Did he allow/ encourage these investigations in order to embarrass the White House, and to put the Tea Party back in the limelight?
    I am not usually one for conspiracy theory, but this is a distinct possibility.
    Think about it!

    May 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Bill

    Same old liberal song and dance among the commenters to this story. Rumsfeld's evil. Bush is evil. Cheney's evil.

    Same tired, blind, moronic approach to American political "analysis." But the first 4 letters of analysis is precisely the region where the useless liberal commenters have their head planted.

    Whether you like it or not, Obozo has THREE full-fledged scandals on his hands. You are so pathetic and small that you can't admit how elated (that means excited) you'd be if this happened during a Republican administration. Heck, there'd be tens of thousands of leftist groups flooding the streets demanding the President's impeachment and removal from office.

    But when it happens within the Executive Branch of a liberal president? "Aww, this is all overblown." "Geez, what a waste of time." "Yawn, next story." "Rumsfeld can rot in hell."

    Really? In demonstrating for all the world to see how duplicitous (that means a hypocritical liar) they are, the liberal commenters to this story reflect that they are blind, tired, mindless sheep, aimlessly following their Dear Leader anywhere he goes, no matter how many of their rights he violates, and all the while singing his praises about the glories of hope and change.

    Here's a hint: if you like Obozo so much, drop your panties, grab your ankles, and pucker up, buttercup. There's more of this to come....right in your proverbial analysis. :-P

    May 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Richard

      Well (and colorfully) said.

      May 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Hello Sailor

        Yeah,it's the weekend,sunny day in Edinburgh getting ready for a MILLION Yankeedoodle Tourists(go away),

        and just sidling up to Buttercup...

        May 17, 2013 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
    • SgtR007

      Actually, Bill, liberals saved their major protests against the Bush administration for when it lied to the American people in order to justify an invasion of a middle-Eastern country that resulted in worsening relations with the U.N. and exacerbated distrust of the worldwide Muslim community.

      May 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • SgtR007

      But go ahead and continue comparing an IRS official's misguided schemes to a warmongering presidential foreign policy that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans.

      May 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • America Is A Big Pile Of Pants And That's FINAL!

      Are you Donald Rumsfeld?

      May 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Wayne Dudley

    Hey rummy, crawl back into your hole where you and sadam belong. Note: I am not auto-signing...

    May 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Highland Laddie

      Och,we pulled him oot the hole,remember?Sae thir's room fir oor Donald noo...(get Merida to take potshots)

      May 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. TomGI

    Rumsfeld is an evil person. Any comments he makes are slanted toward his hidden agendas.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • shepherdgregory

      Hi Tom,

      Didn't you mention equivocation day or so ago?Nail on head,buddy;my beef with him and his inherent sanctimony is the
      'precise weaponry' thing he used to harp on about;it's on another page devoted to him.(Devotion...)

      May 17, 2013 at 6:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. shepherdgregory

    Read what Gates was up to on the ABC website last night:unbelievable;really think the villagers telling it like it was,he
    witnessed by 8 other Marines to have been drenched in blood back at base.Very uncommon for the US Army to DEMAND a
    soldier's execution,isn't it?But it's been a rampage,alright...

    May 17, 2013 at 6:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. FREDRICK MOORE

    NO LETS START WITH THE BOTTOM OF MANAGEMENT AND GO UP YOU BE THE PSYCOLOGIST IN THIS CASE I HAVE TO SAY 150 YEARS IS TOO LONG NOT GUILTY IN ANY CASE THE GOVERNMENT IS RAN THE PUBLIC GUYS SAY THE STANDARDS ON THE AMERICAN TAXED DOLLARS BUT MY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP BECAUSE OF A NUMBER OF THING IS THE REALITY, NEPOTISM FURLOUGH ALL THESE THINGS BUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS FISCAL CLIFF I WOULDNT WANT TO BE ADMIN. SO MANY SPEEK FOR THE COMPANY BUT WE ARTE TALKIN TRUST WE ARE TALKIN LONGEVITY THE PRODUCT OF TODAYS SOCIETY IS NOT WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT COMMON CORRUPTION SINCE THE 80'S IN THE BUSINESS BUT WHO TO BAME I SAY LETS START AT THE BOTTOM ASSES THE GOAL OF EACH AGENCY AND FIGURE OUT WHAT IS THE UNION WHAT IS THE ANGENCY SAYING IN ANY CASE 150 IS A DOUBLE LIFE IF NOT YOU 'LL SEE YOUR SON RUNNING FROM THE BUSINESS THE TRUSTED MEMBER HIMSELF.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • FREDRICK MOORE

      IT IS MY DUTY, NO; THE JUDGE COMPELS ME TO SPEAK IN LITIGATION. A WILD CAT OFFENSE IS ONRE THAT WORKS OUT FOR THE INTEREST OF THE COMPANY AND THEREFORE THE EMPLOYEE DONT FORGET IT. MY POSITION IN ANY BUSINESS MIGHT START AT THE BOTTOM BUT BEING A TRUSTED MEMBER OF A TEMPORARY AGENCY / COMPANY THE CODE OR COVERUP WOULD BE THAT NO ONE IS IN COURT TO ARGUE THERE SIDE.I SETTLE IN CASES WHEN IS THE PUBLIC RECORD GOING TO REALIZE MANAGEMENT LET IT COMPILE AND THE AUDIT ON THESE BUSINESSES LEAVES INCORPORATED BUSINESSES WITH REPS IN ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION NO CHIOCE BUT TO PLEAD GUILTY TO A HANUS CRIME AS DESCRIBE THEN THE PROSECUTOR TELLL THOSE ON THE PUBLIC RECORD TO NOT SPEAK ON A MULTI-DISTRICT LITIGATION. AND IM NOT A LAWER BUT IT TOOK ME A COUPLE TIMES TO SIT IN THE BACK OF A COURT TO SAY I KNOW MY RIGHTS INCLUDING BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. FREDROCK MOORE JR.

    SO TO SETTLE WITH THE MINIMUM IS THE AGGREEMENT BEFORE U PLEAD GUILTY TO SETTLE WITH THE CO DEFENDENT IS ONLY A OPTION ISF U FEEL LIKE YOUR GUILTY BUT DONT BE GUILTY TO ANYTHING, BUT LABOR AND MANAGMENT RELATIONS BECAUSE ADMIN UR JOB WAS TO MAKE YOURSELF KNOW TO THOSE LIMITED NOT JUST AT THE COMPANY BASEBALL GAMES AND PICNICS...

    May 17, 2013 at 8:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • America's Just A Bit Silly

      Can you find another blog?You're worse than Scare The Pilgrims AND jdgatineau,all caps lock,your spelling's trash.

      And I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ryan gadd

      This guy Fred is about as scary as the rest of these war-mogules, caps lock and everything. Chemical imbalance perhaps? Anger is something I understand all too well. And you are angry. Why Rumsfeld! Why?!?! He is corrupt and lacks ALL credibility. Why is it that when something like this happens you all go and find the worst possible witnesses you can find? Not to mention your grammar is awful. Not enough time spent on real subjects, now the IRS scandal has got you so LOST you can't even think straight. I was a conservative once. Til I was lied to. And it doesn't seem to be stopping my time soon. #AmericaSucks

      May 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • shepherdgregory

        There's a LOT of anger out there,Ryan.

        There's a LOT of guns.

        There's a LOT of mental health deficiencies.

        There's a LOT of kids,Mr Costas on the show fearing another Aurora,or,Heaven forbid,Newtown.

        He's not the only one,AR – 15s selling like hotcakes,available now to turn around and smash your way in...

        Tick – tock.(Buy-backs everywhere,every cops' yard going,well away from gunsmiths:it would gain momentum,people
        would 'get into it',and the Government,like Australia,would pay top dollar.)

        Newtown=watershed.

        May 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tilll3840

    this has all happened before and will happen again. during the Bush years, anyone who spoke against the war was audited

    May 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. shepherdgregory

    'With us or against us,right?'

    May 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. stevenkane

    Rumsfeld-an evil man who was responsible for thousands of deaths in Iraq

    May 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Personal Training Long Island

    I'm a free thinker have you ever looked at it from the outside in? I truly believe Obama can get away with anything. Nothing can bring this man
    down.
    Benghazi
    IRS
    NSA
    Failures with in OBAMA CARE
    Whats next?

    January 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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