Trump wanted to use IRS to target foes, former chief of staff says

FILE: Then-President Donald Trump is shown with his chief of staff, John Kelly.
FILE: Then-President Donald Trump is shown with his chief of staff, John Kelly.(Source: CNN/Pool)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 1:22 PM EST
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(CNN) - Former President Donald Trump’s former White house chief of staff John Kelly says Trump repeatedly told him he wanted the Internal Revenue Service to investigate his political foes.

Kelly told the New York Times former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were among the people Trump wanted the IRS to investigate.

The pair, both fierce critics of Trump, were ultimately selected for intensive tax audits.

The Times noted earlier this year that the odds of any one person being selected for the audit are about 1 in 30,600. That raises questions about how two of Trump’s most visible critics were both selected.

Earlier this year, the IRS denied any “politically motivated audits.”

And Kelly told the Times he believes he guided Trump away from seeking out such investigations during his tenure as chief of staff.

Still, earlier this year, the head of the IRS asked a watchdog to investigate the decision to conduct audits on the pair.