Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY
President Obama faced tough questions from reporters on Monday as the White House is facing increased scrutiny from GOP lawmakers over the administration's response to revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted "tea party" groups and non-profit, conservative organizations that criticized the government.
Obama appeared alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron in the East Room for the late morning news conference.
Obama also faced questions about the administration's response to last year's terror attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, dead.
The president and Cameron took just a few questions, but the two leaders could also face questions on increasing calls in the premier's political party for the United Kingdom to quit the European Union.
12:06 p.m. On Syria, both Obama and Cameron say there is common ground among the British and the United States on Syria. Cameron and Obama both address differences on Syria. Obama notes that there are long-term "suspicions" by Russia toward the G-8 but both he and Cameron were trying to "break down" some of those suspicions
"As a leader on the world stage, Russia has an interest and obligation to resolve this issue that can lead to outcome we all want to see in the long-term," Obama says.
11:51 a.m. Obama says first learned about the IRS controversy from news reports. He called the purported targeting of conservative groups by IRS personnel "outrageous and there is no place for it." The IRS has to have "absolute integrity, " Obama adds.
"You don't want the IRS ever being perceived to be biased," Obama said.
The president adds that his administration will get to the bottom of what happened at the IRS. "I have no patience for it. I will not tolerate it. "
On Benghazi controversy, Obama says "There is no there, there."
11:45 a.m. Cameron calls the attack on the Boston marathon "appalling" and says he looks forward to visiting with victims and first responders and victims. Cameron says his talks this morning with Obama centered mostly on the economy, Syria and next month's G-8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Cameron also spent time in his opening statement lamenting the situation in Syria, where he says the two-year-old war has left 80,000 dead. "Syria history is being written in the blood of her people," Cameron said. He adds "and it is happening under our watch."
Cameron, who attended the NCAA basketball tourney with Obama, during his last visit with Obama jokes that he didn't make any progress in sharpening his understanding of basketball, but he did read a book recently about baseball.
11:40 a.m. Obama and Cameron begin news conference about 25 minutes after scheduled start time.
The president begins with an opening statement in which he pays tribute to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died last month. Obama also thanks Cameron, who will head to Boston this week, for his support in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.
The president notes that the Cameron visit comes just weeks before the annual G-8 meeting that Cameron will host in Northern Ireland. Obama says he and Cameron also reviewed the situation in Afghanistan, efforts to restart the Middle East peace process and the ongoing civil war in Syria.