The State Department has confirmed it intentionally deleted a portion of a recorded news briefing containing a question about U.S. negotiations with Iran posed by Fox News Channel correspondent James Rosen.
“A specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing,” said State Department spokesperson John Kirby at a media briefing Wednesday. “We do not know who made the request to edit the video or why it was made.”
The briefing, recorded on December 2, 2013, was posted to the State Department’s YouTube account and website–but without Rosen’s question to then spokesperson Jen Psaki, who is now White House communications director. Psaki tweeted this afternoon:
I had no knowledge of nor would I have approved of any form of editing or cutting my briefing transcript on any subject while @StateDept
— Jen Psaki (@Psaki44) June 1, 2016
Kirby directed that a complete copy of the briefing be posted–and confirmed that the State Department transcript of the briefing was unedited. In asking a legal adviser to review the case, it was determined that the edit had been made intentionally. Who ordered the edit remains unclear.
“To my surprise, the Bureau of Public Affairs did not have in place any rules governing this type of action therefore we are taking immediate steps to craft appropriate protocols on this issue as we believe that deliberately removing a portion of the video was not and is not in keeping with the State Department’s commitment to transparency and public accountability,” said Kirby.
Rosen’s questions focused on whether a previous State Department official had lied months earlier, when Rosen was told there had been no direct negotiations between Iran and the United States. That question became the basis of allegations the Obama Administration misled the press in pushing through the Iran deal.
Pressed about the missing segment of the briefing, the State Department had previously said it was “a glitch.”