Tags: Iran | press conference | state department | iran deal | nuclear talks

State Department Admits Erasing Part of Press Conference Video

(Fox News)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Jun 2016 05:58 PM

The State Department on Wednesday admitted it purposely deleted part of the video of a press conference in which a spokesperson appeared to admit that reporters sometimes were lied to in the effort to aid the Iran nuclear talks.

The State Department originally claimed the deletion was the result of a "glitch."

The story started when Fox News reported James Rosen asked then-State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, in February 2013 about direct talks with Iran outside of the P5+1 talks, Fox News's Bret Baier said Wednesday on "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

"Victoria Newland at the time said with regard to that kind of thing that you're talking about on a government-to-government level, no, no, they did not happen," Baier said.

But as the Iran deal came to pass, the administration said that it had indeed been negotiated through Oman in direct government-to-government negotiations.

Rosen in December 2013 asked Jen Psaki, who had taken over for Nuland, whether Nuland had lied earlier.

"James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that," Psaki told Rosen.

Then in May of this year, after national security adviser Ben Rhodes admitted in a New York Times Magazine story that lawmakers had been misled on the Iran deal in order to gain their approval, Rosen decided to go back to the recording of his question and answer with Psaki. It wasn't there.

Instead a white flash occurs on the official video recording and completely removes the Rosen-Psaki exchange.

When current State Department spokesman John Kirby was asked about it, he said the removal was a glitch.

On Wednesday, Kirby admitted that wasn't true, and said an investigation determined that someone requested the removal the day it happened. But, he said, the request was made over the phone and the person who edited the footage does not remember who made the request.

Kirby said he is not aware of any other similar incident, and added that a new department policy has been introduced in which every briefing will be posted the same day and any edits will be disclosed.

"There were no rules governing this sort of action in the past, so I find no reason to press forward with a more formal or deeper investigation," Kirby said, according to Mediaite.

Rosen called Kirby a "stand-up guy" for making the admission, though he was "doubtful" of the person who said he or she did not remember who asked for the edit to be made.

"If you remember being asked to do it, you probably have a very good chance of remembering who asked you to do it," he said on "The Five." "In any case, we may learn more about this, and I hope people will follow up in the White House, and Jen Psaki is now the White House communications director."

Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush and co-host of "The Five," said the erasure was a violation of the Federal Records Act.

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The State Department on Wednesday admitted it purposely deleted part of the video of a press conference in which a spokesperson appeared to admit that reporters sometimes were lied to in the effort to aid the Iran nuclear talks.
press conference, state department, iran deal, nuclear talks
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2016-58-01
Wednesday, 01 Jun 2016 05:58 PM
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