The State Department admitted on Tuesday that it had deliberately edited out a question from Fox News correspondent James Rosen back in 2013.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said in the daily briefing that the Department had learned that the clip was cut out of the YouTube video that same day of the briefing. The request came from someone in the public affairs office. Kirby has little information on the matter and says that the person who completed the request has little memory of the event.
Kirby also learned that the State Department did not have protocols prohibiting this from occurring. However, Kirby said that this will change immediately. “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,” he said.
“Specifically, we are going to make clear that all video and transcripts from daily press briefings will be immediately and permanently archived in their entirety, and that in the unlikely event that narrow, compelling circumstances require edits to be made, such as the inadvertent release of privacy-protected information, they will only be made with the express permission of the assistant secretary of state for public affairs and with an appropriate level of annotation and disclosure. I have communicated this new policy to my staff and it takes effect immediately.”
In 2012, Rosen asked then-spokeswoman Victoria Nuland if the Administration was negotiating with Iran. Nuland said no negotiations were being held. Then in 2013, Rosen asked then-spokesperson Jen Psaki if the Administration was misleading the American people on the topic of the Iran deal. She responded, “James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.”
That 2013 video with Psaki was then omitted from the YouTube video of the daily briefing. Psaki denied any knowledge about the deletion, tweeting, “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.”
Kirby also seemed to clear Nuland and Psaki of wrongdoing. “I have no doubt that on both of the previous occasions that we’re talking about that they were doing their jobs credibly, honestly, and with integrity.”