Fox News reporter James Rosen reacted Wednesday on The Five to the State Department admitting it had deliberately edited out footage from the official record of a 2013 exchange between him and spokeswoman Jen Psaki about deceit in the Iran nuclear deal.
It was "significant," he said, that the State Department admitted it had lied from the podium and then tried to cover up that admission.
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While Rosen praised spokesman John Kirby for addressing the controversy, he questioned the idea that whoever made the edits couldn't remember who ordered them to do so. He also made a cheeky reference to his prior engagements with the Obama administration, referring to the infamous 2013 news that the government was spying on him and seized his emails.
"I definitely have not suffered from a lack of attention from the Obama administration over the two terms," he said. "I grant you that. I think this is a significant moment insofar as we have the United States government essentially admitting here that its spokespeople lied from the State Department podium, that they then admitted that from the State Department podium, and then tried to cover up that admission by deleting the official archive of this material, and so I'm honored to play some small role in holding our public officials to account, and we'll see if this is the end of it."
Kirby said a specific request was made to take out a portion of the briefing from December 2, 2013, the Free Beacon reported:
"I asked the Office of the Legal Adviser to look at this, including a look at any rules that we had in place," Kirby told reporters at the department’s daily press briefing. "In so doing, they learned that a specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing. We do not know who made the request to edit the video or why it was made. To my surprise, the Bureau of Public Affairs did not have in place any rules governing this type of action."
Fox News correspondent James Rosen first reported last month that several minutes of a department press briefing from December 2, 2013, were deleted for unknown reasons.
"Late today, we discovered that the State Department’s video of its December 2, 2013, press briefing, at which I confronted spokesperson Jen Psaki about the false statement made by her predecessor, Victoria Nuland … has itself, with the use of a white flash, been deleted from both the State Department’s official website and from its YouTube channel," Rosen reported on May 9.
"In that exchange, Psaki effectively admitted that the administration had lied to me because the diplomacy [between the United States and Iran] needed ‘privacy,’" Rosen added. "The State Department told me just moments ago it cannot explain this deletion and is working to restore the excised material."
The admittance also proved to directly contradict another State Department spokeswoman's claim on May 10 that the edit was a "glitch."
Rosen said Kirby acted like a "stand-up guy" in investigating how the edit occurred. The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld wondered ruefully whether Ben Rhodes, the Obama national security aide who boasted of his deceptive tactics over the nuclear deal in a New York Times profile last month, was involved.
"We don't know who it was that demanded that this video be edited this way," Rosen said. "The person who fessed up within the State Department to having made the editing deletion at the request of this unspecified person said they can't remember who it was. I think that's probably doubtful. If you remember being asked to do it, you probably have a very good chance of remembering who asked you to do it."
Fellow The Five host Dana Perino, who was a press secretary for George W. Bush, said Rosen was being too kind.
"I think that their explanation falls well short of acceptable, because one, it is a violation of the Federal Records Act," she said. "It has to be."