How radical is Rep. Michele Bachmann? The Minnesota Republican claimed Thursday that she went to work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), after graduating with a degree in tax law, because it was part of a secret plan to take them down.

“I went to work in that system because the first rule of war is ‘know your enemy,’” she said Thursday in South Carolina. “So I went to the inside to learn how they work because I wanted to beat them.”

Bachmann has taken some heat in recent days from supporters of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), who’ve criticized her for being a tax collection attorney for the IRS before she came to politics.

There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that her latest excuse is true, but she has said repeatedly that her experience in the IRS helped form her views favoring a simplification of the tax code.

This video was published to YouTube on Thursday, August 18, 2011.

(H/T: Washington Post)