In an interview Thursday morning on Fox & Friends, State Department spokesman John Kirby credited Fox News Channel correspondent James Rosen with alerting Kirby to the improper editing of a State Department news media briefing to remove questions asked by Rosen.
“I want to thank James Rosen, your correspondent, for bringing this to my attention,” Kirby said. “If he hadn’t a couple of weeks ago I would have never known this occurred. So first of all, kudos to him. He’s a journalist that I have great respect for so I thank him for that.”
Wednesday Kirby said the edited video, posted to the State Department’s YouTube account and website, had been “intentionally” edited at the direction of someone who has yet to be identified. While some–including Fox News contributor and former White House spokesperson Dana Perino–have suggested it would be relatively easy to identify who made the request, Kirby insisted there was “no cover up.”
“We just don’t know who made the request and why,” Kirby said. “But if additional information were to come to light that could change our understanding of the events you’re darn right I would take a look at it deeper and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Kirby said the State Department employee who edited the video–removing a sequence of questions from Rosen about the Iran deal, and whether a previous State Department spokesperson had lied to reporters about U.S. negotiations to strike the deal–did not recall who had made the request, which came second hand. “All she remembered was that the caller was passing along the request from someone else in my bureau, the Public Affairs Bureau, and again we don’t find that acceptable.”